In search of three-point shooting, the Los Angeles Lakers traded Ivica Zubac to the Los Angeles Clippers for Mike Muscala at the 2018-19 NBA trade deadline.
As Zubac has helped the Clippers earn a playoff spot, the Lakers will miss it for the sixth consecutive season with Muscala only shooting 20.8% from that range.
With just six games remaining in the 2018-19 NBA season, the Zubac-Muscala trade continues to get worse for president of basketball operations Magic Johnson and general manager Rob Pelinka.
Jerry West, who is the Clippers executive board member now, reportedly could not believe the Lakers made that trade offer, according to Dave McMenamin of ESPN:
Shortly after the trade deadline, Clippers consultant Jerry West — who spent more than 40 years with the Lakers as a player, coach and executive — got together for dinner with old friends who also had former Laker ties, sources said. He couldn’t believe how Zubac fell into his lap. The Clippers, sources said, never even called the Lakers to inquire about Zubac. The Lakers made the offer and the Clippers gladly accepted. Sources said those at the dinner table shared a hearty laugh at the Lakers’ expense.
Instead of simply waiving Michael Beasley, the Lakers included Zubac to create a roster spot. While the Lakers were looking to improve their roster through the buyout market on March 1, DeAndre Jordan, Enes Kanter, and Wayne Ellington either stayed with their teams or signed elsewhere.
For Johnson and Pelinka, the hope is they have learned and will surround LeBron James and the young core with three-point shooters through the 2019 NBA Draft and free agency. Instead of trading a 22-year-old center with potential for a poor stretch-five, the Lakers are in no position to make backward moves.