Earlier this year during the trade deadline day, the two teams from Los Angeles, the Clippers and the Lakers did a trade that seemingly had the Clippers celebrating as they got a young perspective Croatian center Ivica Zubac while just giving away Mike Muscala.
Apparently, the Clippers weren’t even in talks with the center and just pulled the trigger on the trade as soon the Lakers proposed it.
According to Dave McMenamin of ESPN.com, Clipper's consultant, Jerry West was more than pleased they pulled off the trade and shared some laughs on the expense of the Lakers:
“Shortly after the trade deadline, Clippers consultant Jerry West—who spent more than 40 years with the Lakers as a player, coach and executive—got together for dinner with old friends who also had former Laker ties, sources said. He couldn't believe how Zubac fell into his lap. The Clippers, sources said, never even called the Lakers to inquire about Zubac. The Lakers made the offer and the Clippers gladly accepted. Sources said those at the dinner table shared a hearty laugh at the Lakers' expense.”
And just like that, the Clippers got a 22-year old starting center that immediately made them better.
While playing for the Lakers, Zubac wasn’t getting a lot of opportunities and when he did, he would play great, but things weren’t looking to getting brighter for him.
But since the trade, he has been playing in the starting lineup for 20 games, while averaging 9.0 points and 7.8 rebounds in 19.8 minutes per game. Stats that will only go up as gets older, but most importantly the Clippers have been winning.
In those games, the Clippers are 15-5, while at that same time, the Lakers have gone 5-15.
An unbelievable statistic as it seems Jerry West had a very good reason to laugh at the Lakers.