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NBA Trade Deadline: Clippers Flip Muscala to Lakers for Beasley, Zubac

Is the rest of the NBA drunk?

NBA: Phoenix Suns at Los Angeles Lakers Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the Clippers have flipped recently-acquired big man Mike Muscala to the Los Angeles Lakers for Michael Beasley and Ivica Zubac.

Muscala, who was salary filler in the Clippers’ recent trade that sent Tobias Harris to Philadelphia, is a 27-year-old stretch PF/C who averaged 7.3 points and 4.3 rebounds in 22 minutes a game for the Sixers this year. However, he has shot just 34% from three this season and is really only a replacement-level player.

The surprise prize of the trade for the Clippers is Ivica Zubac, a 21-year-old center who has been developing on the Lakers for a few years now. Zubac is averaging 8.5 points and 4.9 rebounds in just 15.6 minutes per game for the Lakers this season. While he is in the final season of his rookie contract, Zubac will be eligible for restricted free agency this summer with a qualifying offer of just $1.9 million. That means that if the Clippers are impressed with him, they will have a potentially useful player taking up very little cap space next summer as they try to navigate adding star free agents.

I expect that this move lines up with the Clippers releasing Marcin Gortat just a few minutes ago—Zubac will likely be the Clippers’ starting center for the rest of the season, with Montrezl Harrell continuing to play major minutes off of the bench.

Update: The Clippers will waive Beasley, who is now free to join a contender where he will get minutes.