NBA free agency: LA Lakers agree to deal with Timofey Mozgov

first_imgThe Lakers did not waste any time addressing the biggest hole on their roster.Even if it cost the Lakers plenty of money. Even if it involved pursuing a player that had a recently limited role. In a move that reflected the Lakers’ urgent need at center and a rising NBA salary cap, the Lakers agreed to terms on Thursday night with Cleveland center Timofey Mozgov on a deal worth $64 million through four years, according to league sources. The deal, first reported by The Vertical, cannot be signed until the NBA moratorium ends on July 7. That marks some hefty change for Mozgov, who averaged only 6.3 points on 56.6 percent shooting and 4.4 rebounds last season with the Cavaliers. He also made $4.95 million last year. While plenty of attention centered on LeBron James and Kyrie Irving in guiding Cleveland to the 2016 NBA championships, Mozgov played a combined 25 minutes in the NBA Finals because of injuries. Yet, the Lakers wanted him so badly that general manager Mitch Kupchak reached out to Mozgov when free agency began at 9:01 p.m. PT on Thursday, according to league sources.After all, the 7-foot-1 Mozgov showed promise in the 2014-15 season when he averaged 10.6 points and 6.9 rebounds in 46 games. Lakers assistant coach Brian Shaw has liked Mozgov’s game after coaching him with the Denver Nuggets (2013-15). And the Lakers lacked a starting center after deciding not to retain Roy Hibbert, who posted a career-low in points (5.9) and anchoring a defense that ranked 27th in points allowed (106.8). Other front-court candidates included Miami’s Hassan Whiteside and Atlanta’s Al Horford. Whiteside had narrowed his choices down between Miami and Dallas, according to The Vertical. As of Thursday, Horford did not indicate any interest with the Lakers, according to league sources. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img

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