It’s been nearly two months since the Los Angeles Lakers traded Ivica Zubac and Michael Beasley to the LA Clippers for Mike Muscala and the trade still doesn’t make sense. In fact, it looks even worse than it did initially.
Not only has Muscala been horrid since arriving to Los Angeles, shooting 31.3 percent from the field in 11 appearances, but the roster spot the Lakers opened up by trading Zubac wasn’t used to sign anyone that moved the needle for the team.
Meanwhile, Zubac has shined as the Clippers’ starting center, averaging 9 points per game on 50.7 percent shooting from the field, while also grabbing 7.8 rebounds per game in just 19.8 minutes per game. As one can imagine, his numbers Per 36 minutes are just as impressive, if not more so.
Has he been a superstar? Not exactly, but he’s been exactly what the Clippers have needed at their center position, which is why former Lakers general manager and current Clippers consultant Jerry West is still in disbelief that the Lakers basically handed Zubac to them, 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.
That’s not a bad look at all! Nothing to see here, ladies and gentlemen!
One could make the argument that the Zubac trade will be forgotten if the Lakers make a big splash in free agency this summer, but their superstar ambitions actually only highlight their incompetence.
With the exception of Kevin Durant, a 35 percent max free agent, the Lakers could have signed any All-Star to a max salary deal while retaining Zubac’s $1.9 million cap hold and his full bird rights, allowing them to go over the salary cap to re-sign him. Even if Durant was coming, they could have just waived Zubac then. Now the Clippers, who are expected do some star chasing of their own this summer, will have that luxury.
I’m not mad, personally: I just think it’s funny! Which is why I’m also laughing! Ha ha!