The Los Angeles Clippers and Ivica Zubac will continue their productive partnership after the team has agreed to sign the center to a brand new three-year, $33 million extension, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. To do so, the Clippers opted to decline Zubac’s team option in order to get an extension done, and it always appeared to be a very easy decision after what was a career-best year for the center.
Los Angeles Clippers center Ivica Zubac has agreed on a three-year, $33 million extension, his agents Jeff Schwartz and Mike Lindeman of @excelbasketball tell ESPN. The Clippers declined his $7.5M team option for 2022-2023, clearing the way for Zubac's new deal.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 28, 2022
Zubac, 25, is coming off a year in which he posted career highs in points, rebounds, assists, steals and blocks while starting 76 of the team’s 82 games. He missed four games due to health and safety protocols and another two due to a calf injury. The latter happened to be the first games he’s missed in his career with the Clippers as a result of injury.
According to the LA Times’ Andrew Greif, the new contract will contain no options of any kind:
Ivica Zubac’s new deal with the Clippers is 3 years and worth $33 million, sources confirm (@wojespn first). Deal has no options.— Andrew Greif (@AndrewGreif) June 28, 2022
Shortly after the Clippers’ season ended, president of basketball operations Lawrence Frank talked about the progress that Zubac has made during his time with the team and how much more growth Frank sees in the center:
Zu, again, he’s 25. Like he’s not even in his prime. So I still think there’s a bump up for him. I think he can even become a better rebounder. He can be harder to be blocked out. I think the different times that we kind of went to him, like again, everyone has — you can point to individual games, but like that game in Denver was to me something that should be a real motivator for him.
Look, when we’re whole, he won’t be the focal point, but Zu is a talented, talented player on both ends of the floor. To win a championship, regardless if it’s from the center position or from others, you need to have rim protection, you have to be a competent rebounder. Zu’s impact at the rim, I think he’s just going to continue to get better. We’re super encouraged with Zu, and we still think he has other levels that he can definitely reach.
The young center was acquired by the Clippers back in February 2019 in a deal with the Los Angeles Lakers. Since then, Zubac has played in 246 out of 252 regular season games with the Clippers, and his steady play, availability and improvement during that time has been greatly invaluable.
Zubac averaged 10.3 points, 8.5 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.0 blocks in 24.4 minutes per game this past season. The Clippers were 40-36 when Zubac suited up as he aided the team in achieving their 11th consecutive winning season. Zubac turned 25 in March.