In their first season with head coach Luke Walton at the helm, the Los Angeles Lakers are off to a 5-4 start. With some impressive wins against postseason-caliber teams, the young core has begun showing signs of maturity and growth. The young core features many different players in changing roles, including 19-year-old center Ivica Zubac and 17-year veteran Metta World Peace.
The No. 32 overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft showed signs of improvement during training camp, earning him a spot on the 15-man roster of the Lakers. Although his minutes have been relatively limited, he is still learning the rigors of the NBA schedule at a young age.
His ability to work on his game has been well documented, as he has even undertaken the skyhook shot made famous by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. The young center was given his first NBA start due to injury, squaring off against former Lakers center Dwight Howard.
After that contest, he stated that his first NBA start was a dream come true. While Zubac is expected to spend some time in the NBA D-League this season, he still constantly receives learning experiences from veterans like World Peace.
Courtesy of World Peace’s Twitter account, he gave a bold prediction at the expectations he has for Zubac and his potential:
I'm talking about Zubac. He will be top 5 centers in the NBA in two more years. pic.twitter.com/SiNVSlQPyA
— Metta World Peace (@MettaWorldPeace) November 12, 2016
It isn’t out of the ordinary for World Peace to make bold declarations about his teammates. Before the regular season was even underway, he stated that these Lakers would make the playoffs, which doesn’t seem as farfetched now.
World Peace does have a certain knack for scouting things out, as Dallas Mavericks’ head coach Rick Carlisle stated that he has a future in coaching.
The young core, including Zubac, is constantly taking tidbits of advice from World Peace, as he is reaching the twilight of his remarkable NBA career. The Lakers gear up for a Saturday showdown on the road against the New Orleans Pelicans, attempting to win their second consecutive game in a row.
While World Peace is only averaging about three minutes per game, Zubac is averaging three points, 1.5 rebounds and 0.5 steals in 10 minutes played per game.