One of the most scrutinized transactions at the NBA trade deadline was the Los Angeles Lakers’ decision to trade promising up-and-coming center Ivica Zubac and forward Michael Beasley to the Los Angeles Clippers for Mike Muscala.
The trade was supposed to give the Lakers another shooter but many were baffled at the decision to let go of Zubac, who had been playing very well leading up to deadline, for pretty much nothing.
According to a report by ESPN’s Dave McMenamin the Lakers were the ones who initiated the trade talks for Zubac much to the surprise of Clippers executive Jerry West.
“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.”
The trade turned out well for the Clippers as Zubac has continued to play well throughout the second half of season.
Lakers fans are still angry at Magic Johnson over the trade.