The Clippers are trading Mike Muscala to the Lakers for Michael Beasley and Ivica Zubac, league sources tell ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 7, 2019
With this trade, the Lakers open up a roster spot for what promises to be a rich buyout market that also includes Carmelo Anthony, who Los Angeles has been reported to be “seriously looking at.”
However, beyond them opening a roster spot, it’s hard to understand this trade.
In theory, Muscala gives the Lakers a floor-spacing big man, but Muscala has been wildly inconsistent from behind the arc this season, shooting 34.2 percent on a career-high 4.2 3-point attempts per game. Sadly, that would still rank fourth on this Lakers roster, but it’s also worth noting that they let a very good floor spacing big man (Brook Lopez) walk for nothing last summer.
The shooting that they’re giving up assets for now could have been addressed during free agency last summer. The asset that they gave up in this trade, of course, was Zubac.
The 21-year-old center was in the midst of a career year with the Lakers, and at the end of the season, he was set to become a restricted free agent. Why would the Lakers trade a promising young center that they could have kept on a cost-controlled contract this summer for another big man?
It might be premature to call this trade a bad move, but it’s certainly hard to find a bright spot right now. I guess this is a deal that we will have to revisit a few weeks.
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