The day Los Angeles Lakers struck a deal ahead of the NBA trade deadline. But it just wasn’t the one everyone had hoped. Instead, the team made a deal that left many people scratching their heads. With possible Anthony Davis trade talks dead until the offseason, the Lakers traded Ivica Zubac to the Los Angeles Clippers. But the return is what opened a few eyes.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski first reported the deal, which will send Zubac and Michael Beasley to the Clippers in exchange for Mike Muscala, who was recently acquired from the Philadelphia 76ers.
The deal is surprising, considering the level Zubac has played at as of late. He’s by far looked like the Lakers’ best center to this point but it seems the team has opted to free up a roster spot instead moving forward.
Lakers Roster & Lineup Post-Trade
|Center||JaVale McGee||Tyson Chandler|
|Power Forward||Kyle Kuzma||Mike Muscala||Moritz Wagner|
|Small Forward||LeBron James||Josh Hart||Lance Stephenson|
|Shooting Guard||Brandon Ingram||Reggie Bullock||Kentavious Caldwell-Pope|
|Point Guard||Rajon Rondo||Lonzo Ball (injured)||Isaac Bonga|
After Math of Lakers’ Ivica Zubac Trade
The plan moving forward is to tack on one of the players who has been/will be bought out of their deal. And in turn, this could lead to the Lakers making the decision to bring Carmelo Anthony to town, as Wojnarowski revealed.
It’s not all that surprising, but there are bound to be a few intriguing targets available on the open market. More than likely, it’s tough to envision the final move not being the addition of Anthony. With LeBron James and Anthony having a close relationship, adding the veteran forward to the group for the homestretch makes sense.
One key thing that stands out from the Zubac situation is that he was originally expected to be part of an Anthony Davis trade. He’s going to be a free agent after the year, though, so it seems the Lakers opted to just pick up something in exchange for him as opposed to losing him in the offseason.