May 26, 2022 | 10:36 am EDT Update
The Clippers have until June 29 to exercise a $7.5 million team option on Zubac’s contract and they are widely expected to do it after the big man’s displays this last year and justified projections that he can improve further. “I want to stay and I think they want to keep me,” Zubac said. “I think I should be there and they’re going to pick it up. I like Los Angeles a lot and I like the Clippers. It’s like a family to me. Hopefully, everything is going to work out.”
Zubac is fresh off his most productive run in his NBA trip so far. The 25-year-old center averaged career-highs in all statistical categories with 10.3 points, 8.5 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.0 blocks over “I think I did better than the previous year,” Zubac, 25, said on his 2021-22 performances with the Clippers. “I think that I improved on some stuff. There was more opportunity for me offensively and I think I took advantage of that. We didn’t make the playoffs in the end but considering all the injuries and missing Paul George and Kawhi Leonard throughout the season, I think we did a pretty good job in the regular season. Fighting and finishing with a winning record.”
For those who want the Knicks to be a solid, respectable, playoff team a lot sooner than that, let me introduce you to Pacers point guard Malcolm Brogdon. The University of Virginia alum averaged 19.1 points, 5.9 assists and 5.1 rebounds last season. He shot 44.8 percent overall (31.2 percent from 3) and is a terrific free-throw shooter. Now 29, Brogdon is set to make $22.6 million next season in the final year of his contract. And according to NBA sources, he is available in a trade for the right package, a possibility that has some members of the Knicks front office intrigued if they strike out on free agent Jalen Brunson.
Blake Murphy: Jalen Harris just told us on @FAN590 that he intends to apply for NBA reinstatement when eligible on July 1, and that he believes he’ll be reinstated based on the league’s prescribed treatment/aftercare following his disqualification. Raptors will hold rights if/when reinstated.
Nuggets management has been in touch with Nikola Jokic in the days following Tim Connelly’s stunning departure, and the team’s franchise superstar is comfortable with the direction of the team, a league source told The Denver Post. The two parties have spoken over the phone, allaying concerns over Connelly’s exit for Minnesota, which became official Monday.
Nuggets general manager Calvin Booth is widely expected to assume responsibilities running the team, although nothing’s been made official from the organization. Nuggets governor Josh Kroenke is scheduled to address the media for the first time in years on Thursday. Jokic is close with Connelly, who helped orchestrate the Nuggets’ impromptu trip to Serbia two weeks ago to present him with the MVP trophy. Typically laidback and reserved, Jokic has generally deferred questions about roster decisions to team management. He’s often said he has trust in those tasked with filling out the roster around him.
Justin Kubatko: Jayson Tatum last night: ✅ 22 PTS ✅ 12 REB ✅ 9 AST Tatum (24 years, 83 days) became the second-youngest player in NBA postseason history to reach 1,500 career points, trailing only Kobe Bryant (23 years, 268 days). pic.twitter.com/bzGYP1gPI8
This summer will mark Zubac’s return to the national team and it’s an ambitious one. “I think we have a really good chance to do something in the EuroBasket this summer,” Zubac said. “We got a lot of good players and I think that this is the year that we’re all going to come together. We can get a good result. Of course [I’m committed]. I’ll be there. Hopefully, everyone else will. I think we have a good team and this is a good chance for us to finally fight for the medal.”