On Wednesday night, rookie center Ivica Zubac was able to get on the floor for the Los Angeles Lakers against the Houston Rockets. Although Tarik Black was out with an ankle injury, head coach Luke Walton only played Zubac in garbage time in the 39-point blowout on the road with the Croatian import on the floor for less than six minutes.
According to the D-Fenders Twitter account, Zubac has been assigned to the Lakers’ D-League affiliate for the third time this season:
— L.A. D-Fenders (@DFenders) December 8, 2016
Zubac will suit up for the D-Fenders on tonight when they take on the visiting Reno Bighorns at the Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo. The 19-year-old has played well during his stint in the D-League this season averaging 17.3 points, 8.5 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 1.0 blocks per game.
With Black dealing with an ankle injury, Zubac getting more time on the floor seemed to be the logical direction Walton would take to help fill the void at the center position. Unfortunately for Zubac, Walton didn’t appear eager to get him substantial minutes, but that may change on Friday if the rookie is recalled for the game against the Phoenix Suns.
Black has been ruled out for the matchup with the Suns and sending Zubac down to the D-Fenders may be a way to get the rookie some playing time before potentially facing Tyson Chandler and company on Friday.