When the Los Angeles Lakers acquired Brook Lopez from the Brooklyn Nets this past offseason, the front office talked him up as being an anchor for the team on both ends of the floor. As a veteran in his 10th year, he also serves as a mentor to many of the young players on the roster, most notably Ivica Zubac.
After a strong end to last season, Zubac was expected to play a big role for the Lakers this year. However, after uninspiring showings in both the Summer League and preseason, the second-year Croatian big man has found himself on the outside of the rotation, playing just 14 total minutes in four games so far.
Nonetheless, Zubac has continued to work hard on improving his game and told Ben Nadeau of Basketball Insiders what he is learning most from Lopez:
“The whole summer, I worked on my three-point shot,” Zubac told Basketball Insiders. “But also [I worked on my] post offense too, that’s what [Lopez] is good at. I’m really focusing my game around the post, so that’s where I’m trying to learn.”
Zubac definitely has the footwork and touch to be able to incorporate some of the things Lopez does well into his game. The two share some similarities, so Zubac would be wise to learn from someone who has been around as long as Lopez has.
Even though he hasn’t made the impact on the Lakers as he expected, Zubac is still extremely young with plenty of room to grow. The Lakers have sent Zubac down to the G League on multiple occasions in effort to provide him with time on the court.
He’s responded well, averaging 20 points and 9.7 rebounds on 68.3 percent shooting in three games.
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