Lakers News: Timofey Mozgov Believes Ivica Zubac Needs More Development Before Being A Starter
Lakers Nation Breakdown: Why It’s Time To Be Excited About Ivica Zubac
Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times

The Los Angeles Lakers underwent a couple remodel at the center position last offseason, as starter from last year Roy Hibbert left in free agency.

A pair of international players were brought in to replace him, as they signed veteran Timofey Mozgov to a four-year, $64 million contract, and they then drafted 19-year-old center Ivica Zubac out of Croatia in the second round.

Mozgov began the year as the team’s starter, while Zubac bounced back and forth between the Lakers and their D-League affiliate, the Los Angeles D-Fenders.

When the Lakers season went south and their playoff hopes dwindled, the focus really shifted to the team’s young core, so Zubac saw a big uptick in his playing time, and eventually ended up in the starting lineup.

That came at Mozgov’s expense, as the 30-year-old did not play in 23 of the team’s last 25 games to close out the season.

Mozgov took the demotion well though, as he served as a mentor to Zubac, who suffered a season-ending ankle injury and missed the final seven games of the season.

Going into next season it is currently unknown who the team’s starting center will be, but in his exit interview Mozgov was candid in saying that he does not believe that Zubac is ready to take on that role yet, via Lakers Nation reporter Serena Winters:

Zubac appeared in 38 games in his rookie season, starting 11 of them. In 16.0 minutes per game he averaged 7.5 points and 4.2 rebounds while shooting 52.9 percent from the field.

Pegged as the center of the future, Zubac demonstrated an ability to score in the paint with ease using a variety of post moves, something that Mozgov’s game lacks.

Mozgov may be right that Zubac isn’t quite ready to be the team’s starter, but it is almost certain that if he continues to progress he will take over that role at some point next season.

You May Also Like

VINE: NBA Draft Prospect Zach LaVine Throws Down Insane Dunk With Ease

A couple weeks ago, the Los Angeles Lakers brought in 12 draft…

Lakers Handed First Loss of Season By Nuggets, Falling 118-112

Facing their toughest opponent of the young season, the Los Angeles Lakers…

Byron Scott: Kobe Bryant Is ‘Stepping To The Side’ For Young Core

The Los Angeles Lakers played arguably their best game of the 2015-16 NBA season in their 113-95 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks and…

Lakers News: Kobe Bryant ‘Very Impressed’ With Brandon Ingram

With 10 games remaining in the 2015-16 NBA season, the Los Angeles Lakers are currently focused on Kobe Bryant’s farewell tour and the young core’s development…