The Los Angeles Lakers found a diamond in the rough when they selected center Ivica Zubac with the 32nd pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, but it didn’t look that way during this year’s Summer League.
Zubac struggled mightily with his lift, often getting his shot blocked and not dominating the game the way that he expected to.
In his rookie season, Zubac worked hard to eventually earn a spot in the starting lineup, though part of his promotion had to do with the Lakers desire to focus on their younger players once it was clear that they would not be in the playoff mix.
Most expected him to play very well in his second year at Summer League, but that didn’t happen, and Lakers Reporter Mike Trudell discussed that with him:
— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) September 25, 2017
The Lakers have put a major emphasis on getting players in shape this year so that they can play the kind of high-level defense that will be expected of them. With that in mind, Zubac getting his body fat percentage down to six percent is excellent news. Since his lack of explosiveness was so evident in Summer League it’s also great to see that he feels like he has improved in those areas.
Despite his surprising struggles in Summer League, Zubac is still an immense talent that could have a very bright future for the Lakers. He has a soft touch around the basket and the ability to step out and knock down jumpers.
Last season he proved that he can be effective as a roll man after setting a big screen, and his wingspan allows him to protect the rim. Now the Lakers need him to put it all together, and if he can, the Lakers will have a quality big man to rely on.