The Los Angeles Lakers plan to guarantee center Ivica Zubac’s contract for the 2018-19 season, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
Zubac has a Saturday guarantee date for his $1.5 million deal and would enter the final year of the three-year rookie contract he signed in 2016.
Zubac, 21, has shown promise as a skilled 7-foot-1 big man. He averaged 7.5 points, 4.2 rebounds and 16 minutes per game in 38 contests as a rookie, but took a step back and averaged 9.5 minutes over 43 games in 2017-18. For the Lakers, retaining Zubac does not project to have a major impact in clearing salary-cap space for multiple maximum contracts. As of now, the Lakers could project to have approximately $60 million in salary cap space, depending on the status of restricted free agent Julius Randle.
Zubac entered the NBA in 2016 after playing for KK Mega Bemax.
The Lakers released forward Thomas Bryant on Saturday. Bryant, the No. 42 pick in the 2017 draft, had a strong season in the G League for South Bay and has one year left on his deal, making him a candidate to be claimed on waivers so another team can receive his restricted rights.
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