Magic Johnson Defends Trading Ivica Zubac To The Clippers

Wednesday, May 22, 2019 2:55 AM UTC

Wednesday, May. 22, 2019 2:55 AM UTC

Former Los Angeles Lakers President of Basketball Operations Magic Johnson appeared on ESPN's First Take on Monday morning and among the topics discussed in his explosive, tell-all interview, he defended his decision to trade Ivica Zubac.

<p>Johnson sounded off on a number of topics, like Rob Pelinka saying things behind his back and aired even more dirty laundry.</p><div>[/]{"component": "embedHTML", "code": "&lt;blockquote class=\"twitter-tweet\" data-lang=\"en\"&gt;&lt;p lang=\"en\" dir=\"ltr\"&gt;come on, man...&lt;/p&gt;— Harrison Faigen (@hmfaigen) &lt;a href=\"\"&gt;May 20, 2019&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/blockquote&gt;\n&lt;script async src=\"\" charset=\"utf-8\"&gt;&lt;/script&gt;"}[/]</div><div> </div><p>Questionable decisions by management played a part in the Lakers having a disappointing season and trading Ivica Zubac and Michael Beasley to the Clippers for Mike Muscala made no sense, even if Johnson wants to think otherwise.</p><p>Zubac made solid contributions since joining the Clippers, averaging 9.4 points and 7.7 rebounds in 26 games while Muscala averaged just 5.9 points in 15.6 minutes over 17 games with the Lakers.</p><p>After a comfortable 128-107 win over the Knicks on March 3, Zubac mentioned a big difference he saw between playing for the Lakers and the Clippers:</p><div>[/]{"component": "embedHTML", "code": "&lt;blockquote class=\"twitter-tweet\" data-lang=\"en\"&gt;&lt;p lang=\"en\" dir=\"ltr\"&gt;Zubac enjoying LAC &lt;a href=\"\"&gt;;/a&gt;&lt;/p&gt;— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) &lt;a href=\"\"&gt;March 4, 2019&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/blockquote&gt;\n&lt;script async src=\"\" charset=\"utf-8\"&gt;&lt;/script&gt;"}[/]</div><div> </div><p>Johnson is right, Zubac averaged just 5.0 points and 5.5 rebounds in 9.8 minutes over four playoff games against the Warriors but he obviously wasn't on the floor that much as head coach Doc Rivers (+700 to win the <a href="" target="_blank">NBA</a> Head Coach of the Year award at <a href=";a=f3f21e61-d9f3-4f0e-b0e8-170a0846bc18&amp;f=3" target="_blank">BetOnline</a>) went with shortened playoff rotations but Zubac is an up-and-coming prospect while Mike Muscala didn't produce for the Lakers.</p><p>Calling Zubac a product of LeBron James and Lonzo Ball is ridiculous, as he was a much better player with the Clippers than with the Lakers. The trade was made so the Lakers could get an extra roster spot but giving away Zubac and Beasley for unequal compensation was a mistake, the return for them should have been much greater and losing him for so little haunted the team.</p>
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