Los Angeles Lakers rookie center Ivica Zubac has an intriguing skill set, one that he developed by patterning his game after Marc Gasol. While we only have a handful of Summer League games and some footage from his time in Serbia with Mega Leks to go off of, there have been enough flashes of brilliance to make Zubac an intriguing talent to watch next season.
He is a big body at 7’1″ and 240 pounds, and Zubac uses his length well to protect the rim. He isn’t a stiff though, showing solid mobility and a soft touch both on his jumper and hooks around the basket. In a recent interview with Joey Ramirez of Lakers.com, Zubac discussed having the freedom to spread his wings and show how versatile his skills are:
“I can show here what I can do. In Europe, I was limited. I didn’t have minutes and when I had minutes, it was just, ‘Do this. Do this. You gotta listen to the coach.’ Here, they want to see how you can help the team[…] Here (in the NBA) we do a lot of different things. In Europe, you just do one thing that you do a lot of times until you get better. Here you work on every part of your game.”
Of course, it has to be noted that Zubac’s description of the dynamic between himself and the coaches in the NBA is exactly the kind of environment that the Lakers are hoping will develop under new head coach Luke Walton. The Lakers have a plethora of young players who need to be in an environment that will allow them to grow as complete basketball players, and it appears that the Lakers are now on the right track in this endeavor.
In a perfect world, Zubac will develop into the center of the future for the Lakers. He has a long road to get there, but so far, so good.