The Los Angeles Lakers will soon lock in the contract terms with one of their new rookies, agreeing to the terms on a three-year deal with 32nd overall pick Ivica Zubac soon after his introductory press conference, according to Mike Bresnahan of Time Warner Cable Sportsnet. Bresnahan reports that the third year of the deal is non-guaranteed.
Locking in Zubac was a pretty simple matter of bookkeeping for the front office, as while Bresnahan did not report the exact value of the contract, second round picks rarely earn more than the mininmum. For rookies in 2016-17, the minimum is an estimated $543,471 according to Larry Coon's invaluable Salary Cap FAQ.
Zubac agreeing to a cheap, three-year deal is a good thing for the Lakers, especially with the seven-footer widely seen as a project who will need time and patience to develop into a capable NBA big. While he is not expected to contribute much to the team right away, going up against Timofey Mozgov and Tarik Black in practice (as well as probably some time with the Los Angeles D-Fenders) over the next one or two years should put the Lakers in a position to develop Zubac while evaluating whether or not he can contribute in the NBA going forward.
Another benefit of the contract could allow the Lakers to make sure they're able to keep the big man should he contribute more quickly than expected:
@Mike_Bresnahan He hits restricted free-agency sooner than Ingram.— Jerry Khachoyan (@TheArmoTrader) July 5, 2016
Could be good for him if he blows up early.
With his contract terms agreed to, it now seems a certainty Zubac will suit up for the Lakers in Las Vegas Summer League later this week.
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