Last week, the team traded D’Angelo Russell and Timofey Mozgov to the Brooklyn Nets in exchange for center Brook Lopez and a draft pick. Lopez was introduced as the Lakers’ newest veteran addition to their roster at the team’s practice facility in El Segundo on Wednesday.
After being formaly introduced by general manager Rob Pelinka, Lopez lifted his No. 11 Lakers jersey and then spoke to the media about his immediate future in purple and gold. Lopez has already been around some of his new teammates and has been particularly impressed with the potential he sees in fellow center Ivica Zubac, via Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report:
Being around Zubac a few days, Brook Lopez is blown away by his work regimen and potential
— Eric Pincus (@EricPincus) June 28, 2017
Zubac, who the Lakers drafted 32nd overall in last year’s NBA Draft after taking Brandon Ingram at No. 2, played well in his rookie season leading many to believe he could be the team’s center of the future. The Croatian product showed a versatile skill set and after stints in the then-D-League and off the bench earned a spot in the starting lineup.
Of course, with Lopez being a former All-Star and having the ability to be a force beyond the three-point line, Zubac will likely be headed back to the bench next season. Fortunately, he’ll have a chance to learn from a proven veteran at his position and possibly work on developing a three-point shot in the same way Lopez was able to do last season in Brooklyn.
Although Zubac’s rookie season was cut short due to a season-ending ankle injury, he is expected to be on the team’s Summer League roster. Zubac will get back to work starting July 7 in Las Vegas playing alongside Lonzo Ball, Ingram, and the three other incoming rookies Thomas Bryant, Kyle Kuzma, and Josh Hart.