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Ivica Zubac, Clippers Agree to 3-Year, $33M Contract Extension

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVJune 28, 2022

Chris Elise/NBAE via Getty Images

Ivica Zubac has been in Los Angeles his entire NBA career, and that won't change anytime soon.

Zubac's agents confirmed to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski that the 7'0" center has agreed to a three-year, $33 million contract extension with the Los Angeles Clippers.

Wojnarowski noted that the Clippers declined the $7.5 million club option that was remaining on Zubac's contract to pave the way for the new deal.

The big man entered the league when the Los Angeles Lakers selected him with a second-round pick in the 2016 NBA draft, but the Purple and Gold traded him to the Clippers during the 2018-19 season.

While he is not a superstar who takes over games, he is a solid role player and double-double threat whenever he is on the floor. He is also coming off the best statistical season of his career when he posted 10.3 points, 8.5 rebounds and 1.0 blocks per game while shooting 62.6 percent from the field.

Zubac has been a dependable piece for the Clippers of late, appearing in 220 games with 179 starts over the past three seasons.

That was particularly important in 2021-22 when Kawhi Leonard didn't play a single game and Paul George appeared in just 31 contests. They are two of the best wing defenders in the league, which put additional pressure on Zubac to anchor the interior defense without them.

All he did was hold opponents to a shooting percentage 7.7 percent worse than their normal averages within six feet of the basket, per NBA.com.

Between his durability, interior defense and age at just 25 years old, there is plenty of reason to think Zubac will remain in his prime for the foreseeable future. It is far from a surprise to see the Clippers reward him with an extension, and they expect even more moving forward.

"There's a bump up for him," president of basketball operations Lawrence Frank previously said, per Mirjam Swanson of the Orange County Register. "I think he can even become a better rebounder. He can be harder to be blocked out."

If he does take that jump alongside a healthy Leonard and George, the Clippers can be contenders in 2022-23.

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