The Los Angeles Lakers and Timofey Mozgov have agreed to a four-year, $64 million contract in the early hours of free agency, according to The Vertical's Adrian Wojnarowski. Mozgov is coming off a tough individual season where he struggled because of knee issues and lost his place in the Cleveland Cavaliers rotation, but he is also an NBA champion. Is he "worth" $64 million? In this market, uh, who knows?
Much like the New York Knicks are reportedly set to do with Joakim Noah, the Lakers are making a bet that Mozgov will regain his pre-injury form. Mozgov had surgery a year ago, just weeks after he had a 28-point, 10-rebound game in the 2015 Finals.
When the Cavs acquired Mozgov in January of 2015, he changed their season. At his best, he's a good rim protector, a great rebounder and a scoring threat out of the pick-and-roll and the post. The Lakers needed someone like him to finish around the rim and anchor their defense, and if he's healthy he'll be able to move much better than Roy Hibbert did last season. Los Angeles assistant coach Brian Shaw coached Mozgov with the Denver Nuggets.
On the surface, this deal seems a little crazy from the Lakers' perspective -- Mozgov averaged just 6.3 points and 4.4 rebounds last year. They obviously think they can get much more out of him next season, and they're trying to advantage of an opportunity to buy (relatively) low on a starting-caliber center.