Los Angeles Lakers center Ivica Zubac is enjoying the fruits of his Hard Work at the moment. Zubac, who was drafted at number 32 by the Lakers in last year's NBA draft, has earned a spot in the team's rotation. The rookie hasn't been a regular member of the rotation throughout the season -- but now he has an established spot.

Lakers coach Luke Walton decided to give Zubac a starting role in the last couple of games. Since the team has turned its focus to improving and developing for the rest of this year's season, the team's young corps is seeing some good minutes. The Croatian center has played well, and his numbers in the last five games saw him post 12.4 points and 6.2 rebounds per game, according to ESPN.

Zubac says he has drawn positives from his starts, and insists that it will help him going forward.

''I think it was good,'' Zubac told reporters after a loss to the Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday. ''I adjusted to (the) starting unit. Playing more and working hard, getting more and more experience every game. And, I think that's gonna pay off for the next season.''

Zubac positively surprised

As the 32nd overall pick of the 2016 NBA draft, Ivica Zubac didn't expect to be in this position earlier this season. As already mentioned, the rookie didn't play every game for the Los Angeles Lakers, and it was challenging for him just to get some playing minutes -- now he is a starter. Zubac has featured in 36 of his team's 73 games this season -- starting in nine games and averaging 7.6 points and 4.3 rebounds in 16.4 minutes per game.

The Croatian says his hard work wasn't worthless, and insists that he will continue to put in the effort.

''Not by the end of the season. I mean, I always believed I'm gonna start sometimes, but not this season,'' Zubac said. ''So, it really means a lot to me, and (my) hard work (has) paid off.

I'm gonna keep working hard.''

Lakers should feel good about Zubac

Ivica Zubac is a 20-year-old rookie center who wasn't drafted so high in last year's NBA draft. The Croatian has proven to everyone so far that he is not shy when it comes to putting in the effort, and he could become a regular contributor for L.A.

in the future. If not a starter, he could at least provide some good minutes off the bench -- and that is not a bad option either. If they haven't yet, the Los Angeles Lakers could very easily fall in love with Zubac's work ethic, passion and dedication.

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