LeBron James

Lakers center Ivica Zubac is possible piece in a trade

Zubac, a 7-foot-1, 21-year-old center, has put together his best string of basketball, a 10-game stretch before Tuesday when he averaged 13.2 points and 6.8 rebounds in less than 20 minutes per game.

There’ve been clunkers in there — five points against Cleveland and only eight minutes against Chicago — but Zubac has managed to stay level and regain his footing.

Although there is a line of thinking that small lineups, like those with forwards like LeBron James and Draymond Green playing center, bulk still matters in the NBA.

You need bodies to bang with DeMarcus Cousins, to battle with Deandre Ayton, to scrap with Jusuf Nurkic and to wrestle with Embiid.

He’s also the team’s top free-throw shooter, which might signal a future from beyond the three-point line as his game evolves with more time in the league.

And, somehow, that hope on a young center with the 32nd pick in 2016, a player with 18 trips to the NBA’s G League and back, could end up playing a role in the Lakers making their biggest trade since they dealt for Kareem-Abdul Jabbar.

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