L.A.

Lakers’ GM Rob Pelinka calls Ivica Zubac ‘one of the pillars for the future’

Photo Credit: Andrew D. Bernstein/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Lakers have wrapped up their fourth consecutive season missing the playoffs but had several bright spots on the roster in the form of young promising talent. 

According to LA Daily News’ Mark Medina, general manager Rob Pelinka voiced some glowing praise toward big man Ivica Zubac during an appearance on 710 ESPN’s “Mason and Ireland” on Monday afternoon. 

“He’s a very very promising player and had incredibly strong minutes for us, especially in the second half of the year. Really, he is someone we consider to be one of the pillars for the future,” Pelinka said. “But I think when you’re talking about a 19 or 20-year-old in the league, there’s always that kind of balancing act of not overexposing a player and doing too much that you have negative returns on it. With young players, that’s what we’ll have always have to be mindful of.”

In his first NBA campaign, Zubac found much success in the final few months of the season with more playing time on the floor after the Lakers decided to shut down Timofey Mozgov in early March averaging 7.5 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 0.9 blocks in 38 games played. He recorded four double-doubles while scoring 10 or more points 14 times. Following the All-Star break, Zubac averaged 10.0 points on 55.3 percent shooting from the field with 4.5 rebounds and 1.1 blocks. 

Zubac also became the youngest player in franchise history to record a 25-point double-double, and third youngest in team history (19 years, 305 days) to notch a double-double behind just Andrew Bynum and D’Angelo Russell

The 20-year-old has given much reason for optimism moving f0rward because of his ability to impact the game on both ends of the floor as a rim protector defensively and offensively through pick-and-roll and on the low block while his back was to the basket. 

With the front office possessing a level of high expectations for Zubac’s future, it could pave the way for him to fulfill his potential. 

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Bob Garcia IV

Bob Garcia IV is a sports journalist from Southern California. He's currently the Los Angeles Lakers beat writer for Sports Out West. He was previously the beat writer for LA Rams Report for Scout.com, which is a website dedicated to covering the Rams. Lastly, he was a reporter for the award-winning newspaper, The Daily Sundial, at California State University, Northridge. You can follow him on Twitter, @BGarcia90.
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