And then there was one.
The Los Angeles Lakers are down to just a single player predating the arrivals of executives Earvin "Magic" Johnson and Rob Pelinka: third-year forward Brandon Ingram.
The most recent departure is Ivica Zubac, a promising 21-year-old center who gave the Lakers huge performances in key games against the Golden State Warriors, Oklahoma City Thunder and New Orleans Pelicans. In his place is a serviceable role player in Mike Muscala, a stretch forward shooting just 34.2 percent from three this season.
Why? Nobody's sure.
At last week's trade deadline, the Lakers sent Zubac and Michael Beasley to the Los Angeles Clippers—who are giddy to have a young, promising 7-footer on their roster in Zubac—essentially for free. Muscala was a throw-in for the Clippers in the blockbuster deal that sent Tobias Harris to the Philadelphia 76ers. They've since waived Beasley.
You can safely add Zubac to the list of young players the Lakers likely punted on too early.
For Johnson and Pelinka, this could be about building a roster that's purely their own. They clearly haven't prioritized the players they didn't acquire (which doesn't necessarily bode well for coach Luke Walton, who was hired by former general manager Mitch Kupchak). But they're also quick to move young pieces they previously drafted, such as Thomas Bryant and Svi Mykhailiuk.