Report: Lakers to guarantee Ivica Zubac’s contract

NBA: San Antonio Spurs at Los Angeles Lakers
April 4, 2018; Los Angeles, CA, USA; San Antonio Spurs forward LaMarcus Aldridge (12) controls the ball against Los Angeles Lakers center Ivica Zubac (40) during the first half at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers are firmly entrenched in a busy offseason so every little decision could have huge consequences.

According to Yahoo Sports’ Shams Charania, the Lakers are planning to guarantee Ivica Zubac’s contract for the season. Had the Lakers chosen to cut him prior to today’s deadline, his contract would not have counted against the 2018-19 salary cap.

Zubac will make about 1.5 million dollars next year, a value that will count against the Lakers’ cap sheet. Had he been cut, the Lakers would still have had to factor an empty roster hold of roughly $830,000.

Tyler Ennis was waived by the Lakers earlier this week.

The Lakers decision to keep Zubac’s contract for now could be important for future transactions. He could be used to match salaries in a potential trade, with talks between the Lakers and Spurs for a trade centered around Kawhi Leonard have escalated in recent days. Otherwise, Zubac could continue his development both on the Lakers and in the G-League.

Zubac is not expected to be a major contributor to the Lakers next year with Thomas Bryant and rookie Moritz Wagner likely to play most of the developmental minutes as the Lakers juggle the number of players in the front court.

Zubac, drafted in the second round in 2016, had a strong rookie season but did not build off it in his sophomore year. In 2017-18, the center appeared in only 43 games, averaging 3.7 points and 2.9 rebounds in those contests.

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