After another solid season of growth and protecting the rim, Ivica Zubac earns a well-deserved extension. Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported that the LA Clippers and their center agreed to a new extension this afternoon. The club reportedly declined his $7.5M option for next season to replace him with a $33M, three-year extension. Zubac was originally on a three-year extension worth $21M before agreeing to his new deal. He remains one of the best value contracts in the league.
Ivica Zubac Earns Well-Deserved Extension
In an injury and COVID-riddled season, Zubac was an ironman for the Clippers. The eight-year big played in 76 games, starting in all of them. In those games, he averaged 10.3 points, 8.5 rebounds, and one block per game. All on 62.6% from the field and 72.7% from the charity stripe. His points and rebounds per game were both career-highs for the seven-foot native of Croatia.
Lawrence Frank, Clippers’ President of Basketball Operations, credited Zubac for the Clippers’ top-10 defense this past season. A feat that is impressive given the talent they missed on that end. This season, Zubac showed offensive flashes in January and scored a career-high 32 points and added 10 rebounds against league MVP Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets.
When the Clippers acquired Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, there was much noise about the team’s need for a rim protector. However, Zubac did a serviceable job then and continues to produce. At roughly $11M per year, Zubac is on another team-friendly contract given his production. Additionally, the team maintains a solid starting center without overpaying. This is especially important given Ty Lue likes to finish small.
The team now pivots to free agents Nicolas Batum, Amir Coffey, and Isaiah Hartenstein. All three proved to be integral pieces in the team’s success last season. Free agency begins this Thursday, June 30th at 3 PM PST.