Atlanta Hawks: Ranking the 12 Best Fits in Free Agency

Malcolm Brogdon Klay Thompson Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Malcolm Brogdon Klay Thompson Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) /
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Atlanta Hawks
Ivica Zubac Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images) /

#9. Ivica Zubac

Another young player who will be a restricted free agent this offseason is Ivica Zubac of both the Los Angeles Lakers and LA Clippers. Zubac was part of the ill-fated Mike Muscala trade from the Lakers to the Clippers, which prompted Clippers advisor (and NBA legend) Jerry West to laugh heartily at the Lakers’ utter dysfunction.

It must be noted that Zubac’s raw numbers increased as a member of the Clippers due to an expanded, fully starter-level role, but his efficiency noticeably dipped due to playing alongside higher-level competition.

Still though, Zubac was the starter for the Clippers team that gave the Warriors their toughest challenge of the Playoffs, which included a miraculous 31-point comeback that will live in NBA lore for years to come.

According to Basketball Reference, across the two L.A. teams he played for in 2018-19, Zubac produced career-highs in minutes played (1040), Player Efficiency Rating (18.9), true shooting percentage (60.4%), win shares (3.2) and box plus/minus (-0.3) – though he was actually a +0.3 BPM as a starter for the Clips.

On defense, Zubac produced a rock-solid 2.3 percent block rate with the Clippers (73rd percentile among bigs per Cleaning the Glass), while providing a big body to defend the paint, box out and nab rebounds on the interior.

At only 22 years old next season (until March), Zubac would make for a good fit on the Atlanta Hawks going forward as part of the team’s young core – unless they opt for a big man in the 2019 NBA Draft.