Despite consecutive losses to end Summer League, following three straight victories, the Los Angeles Lakers’ rookies showed tremendous promise in their professional debuts. Aside from the expected solid outing by the Lakers No. 2 overall pick Brandon Ingram, it was the performance of second-round pick Ivica Zubac that has many believing he may prove to be one of the biggest steals in this year’s draft.
After averaging 10.6 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 2.6 blocks per game in this year’s summer league, Zubac seemed to even surprise himself with how NBA ready he is according to Mark Medina of the L.A. Daily News.
“I didn’t know I would play like this,” Zubac said. “I knew I would let everybody see what I have and prove myself why they picked me. I didn’t know I would play like this.”
Many were unaware of the 19-year-old Croatian when the Lakers took him with the 32nd overall pick in this year’s draft. However, that quickly changed after Zubac established himself as a solid rim protector and interior defender, while becoming a fan favorite in the process.
Even though it was only Summer League, it seems Zubac’s play allowed him to prove to himself that he is capable of playing at the NBA level:
“Now I have a lot of confidence. I know I can play,” Zubac said. “This is summer league. It’s nothing yet. But it gives me condfience I can play against these players.”
Perhaps what is most impressive however, is how well-rounded Zubac’s game is so early in his career. At 7’1, Zubac has soft hands and is incredibly crafty inside, shooting 64.7 percent from the field and 81 percent from the free-throw line.
Though its just a small sample size, Zubac’s performance in the summer league has given Lakers fans plenty to be excited about.