The Los Angeles Lakers continued their carousel of recalling and assigning players to their NBA G Leauge affiliate, the South Bay Lakers, when the team sent Ivica Zubac down on assignment on Saturday night.
Zubac is averaging 20 points, 9.7 rebounds and 3.3 blocks in 29.5 minutes per game over three games in South Bay this season, during which the Lakers’ G League squad has gone 2-1.
South Bay is a good team with or without Zubac, as they lead the Pacific Division with an 11-4 record that also ranks second in the Western Conference. But they’ve been far better with him in limited minutes.
With Zubac on the floor, South Bay has outscored its opponents by a whopping 18.7 points per 100 possessions (the second-best net rating of anyone to suit up for the team this season), while “only” outscoring the opposition by 4.3 points per 100 possessions without Zubac.
The second-year center is probably getting sent down for some run because he only seen limited action with the Lakers, playing a team-low 2.4 minutes per game over just six appearances on the court this season.
It’s a far smaller role than the promising sophomore appeared set for towards the end of last season when we was getting just over 20 minutes per game over the seasons final 15 contests. But with the Lakers’ crowded frontcourt and head coach Luke Walton preferring to play small ball have sapped Zubac’s minutes into near oblivion.
The Lakers’ assignment of Zubac comes on the heels of the team recalling Thomas Bryant to the parent roster Saturday morning. It appears they are going to continue to rotate their young big men back and forth from the NBA to the G League, but do not plan to have them on assignment together, which makes sense given that such a gargantuan lineup would get run off the floor in the G League.
The South Bay Lakers next play against the Memphis Hustle at home Sunday, December 17 at 5:00 p.m., and Zubac is expected to be in uniform.
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