Ivica Zubac is a center from Mega Leks. Zubac is 7’0 and has a wingspan of 7’4. For the year, he averaged, 13.0 minutes per game, 6.8 points per game, 3.0 rebounds per game, 1.2 blocks per game, 0.2 steals per game, while shooting 57.3% from the field.
- Excellent size and length
- Efficient finisher at the rim with either hand
- Finishes through contact well
- Developing set of post moves
- Good shooting mechanics
- Good court vision
- Shot blocking potential
- Mid-range confidence
- Passing ability
- Limited ball handling skills
- Turnover prone
- Foul prone
- Average athlete
- Injury Prone
Ivica Zubac has flown up draft boards this past season. He looks to be a sure-fire to be selected in the second half of the 2016 NBA Draft. There is a lot of questions on whether or not his skill set will fit in the modern league, but it is hard to find true seven footers from Europe who have his attributes.
Offensively, Zubac is a very limited player. He prefers to stay near the basket, and you will rarely see him outside five feet of it. He does show a great ability to finish near the basket with either hand. His post moves are still developing, but have drastically improved the last two seasons. Without any reliable post moves yet, if he was brought over now, he would be limited to clean-up duty, due to his superior offensive rebounding skills. Zubac looks to have good shooting mechanics, but lacks any sort of confidence to make a mid-range attack a consistent part of his game. Zubac has good court vision, but he often tries to force passes out of the paint, and this leads to him committing a fair amount of turnovers. Zubac has little to no ability to handle the ball, and should not be trusted unless it is near the basket.
On defense, Zubac has a lot of work to do. He has the size, strength, and length to be a dominant defender, but he looks like he was never taught anything about defense. In the paint, Zubac struggles to anticipate his man, and will get by strong, longer opponents. He does show a great ability to time shots, and that with his length should allow him to be a decent shot blocker at the next level. There is almost zero chance, Zubac can defend the perimeter if he does come over. He is very slow, and lacks the footwork needed to be a reliable defender on the wing. When he does try to go one-on-one away from the basket, he is often beaten by speed, and tries to make up for it with length, which leads to foul problems. In terms of rebounding, Zubac is a much better offensive rebounder, than defensive. Defensively, he has good fundamentals for rebounding, just needs to stay more aware of what is going on around him.
Overall, Zubac has a great body to be a dominant presence in the paint in the league, but his older style of offensive basketball, and lack of defensive skills do not look to translate to an effective NBA career. Along with a questionable game to transition to the NBA, Zubac does not possess elite athleticism, and has injury woes the past few seasons. Zubac looks to have a draft range between 20-30. The majority of these teams will be looking for a draft-and-stash prospect, and Zubac is far away from contributing, which is perfect for these teams strapped for cash. Teams like Boston or Toronto, who need to improve their frontcourt depth could take a heavy look at adding Zubac for this coming season, or allow him to develop for a few more years in Europe.
Pro Comparison: Chris Kaman
Chris Kaman had a pretty good career in the NBA during his prime. You always count on him to clean up on the offensive end of the court, rebound, and provide effort defense. Zubac projects to be a similar type of caliber player as this going forward.
On offense, Zubac and Kaman play a similar type of game. Neither player is usually far away from the basket. Neither player has a very developed set of post moves, but have proven time and time again to be able to score efficiently. Both players are good offensive rebounders, which they use to boost their offense. Like Zubac, you will occasionally see Kaman step out to mid-range but it is not a common thing. Both players have the mechanics to hit from mid-range, but their offensive confidence is near the basket. Neither player is a great ball handler or passer, and therefore can suffer from a lot of turnovers in a short period of time.
Defensively, both players play with good energy, but are not dominant defenders. On the interior, Zubac and Kaman have mediocre footwork, and struggle to handle stronger, and longer opponents. Their own combination of size and length make them good shot blockers, but not elite. Neither has the ability to guard out to the perimeter, as they are just too slow to keep up with the faster players of the league. Rebounding is a huge asset for each player, as they both look to grind it out against their opponents.
Chris Kaman had two really good years in the league, and the rest were not bad, but made him look like an obvious role player. Zubac looks to have a similar type of potential. Given heavy minutes he could give you 15 points per game, and 10 rebounds per game, but he is still a few years from being a liability on the court.
By: Mac Crowe, @Mac_Truck17