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Ivica Zubac (C, LAL) - Week 12 Waiver Wire Pickups

BALLER MOVE: Add In 12-Team Leagues

OWNED IN: 34% of leagues

ANALYSIS: Behind a burgeoning group of talented young players and a time-tested couple of veteran centers, there hasn't appeared to be much room on the Los Angeles Lakers for 21-year old Bosnian native Ivica Zubac to contribute on the floor. However, due to a few recent injuries, Zubac has received an uptick in minutes and he has taken excellent advantage of the presented opportunity. In the five games since the Lakers December 21st contest against the Pelicans, Zubac has played a combined 135.25 minutes each outing (about 27 minutes per game). In that time he was able to grab 66 total points, 34 total rebounds, and ten blocks for averages of 13.2 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 2.0 blocks per LA outing. While it is all well and good that he has exploited the recent opening in the Lakers front court, it is even more encouraging that he is excelling in rebounding and shot-blocking efficiency.

Zubac ranks second-best on the Lakers in rebounds per 36 minutes of floor-time behind only Tyson Chandler with 10.5 while he ranks second on the roster in blocked shots per 36 minutes of floor-time with 2.4 behind JaVale McGee. Not only that, but he also ranks second-best on the team in rebounding percentage (also behind Chandler) at 15.1%, and he once again ranks next-best on the Lakers in block percentage (behind McGee) with a rate of 5.1%. Possibly the most surprising (and optimistic) fact is that Zubac's true shooting percentage of 60.2% ranks third on the entire roster (you guessed it: behind Chandler and "Shaqtin A Fool" star JaVale McGee). While it is extremely difficult to carve out a meaningful role for ones self on a team led by LeBron James and occupied by such savvy veterans and young stars, the 7-1 Ivica Zubac has demonstrated the potential of his skill set in this recent stretch of increased playing time. If this level of play translates to further minutes down the road, Zubac is a great option to pile up blocks and rebounds as well as accurate scoring close to the basket for fantasy basketball managers.

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