Timofey Mozgov and Luol Deng joined the Los Angeles Lakers after receiving decent offers in the recent free agency. In the nearing 2016-17 NBA season, will Mozgov and Deng live up to expectations?
In need of a center, the Los Angeles Lakers signed Russian center Timofey Mozgov to a four-year deal worth $64 million. Everyone was surprised to the contract given by the Lakers to Mozgov. Though he’s part of the reigning NBA champions, the Russian center only served as a backup for Tristan Thompson.
The Lakers also added another veteran, Luol Deng, on their roster. The 31-year-old small forward signed a four-year deal worth $72 million with the Lakers. Now, he is projected to be the starting SF, but coach Luke Walton is still undecided on who will be his starters.
“You can pencil in whoever you want [to the starting lineup], I don’t have anyone penciled in right now,” Walton said when asked whether or not he was willing to declare Deng the starter. “Everyone earns his spot. You come into camp, you compete against other players, you respect your teammates, but whoever outplays the next guy in line, that’s who gets to start.”
If Brandon Ingram and Ivica Zubac made impressive performances, there is a higher possibility that they can replace Timofey Mozgov and Luol Deng in the starting lineup. However, the Lakers did not give the two veterans expensive contracts just to serve as bench players.
Corban Ford on Lake Show Life said that the Lakers acquisition of Mozgov and Deng is not that bad since they can help in developing their young players. However, the long, expensive contracts they signed could give the Lakers headaches in the future.
“General Manager, Mitch Kupchak’s goal should have been to let his team grow, not hinder them with the veterans they would go on to sign,” Ford said.
The Los Angeles Lakers will be facing the 2016-17 NBA season without their main man, Kobe Bryant. Timofey Mozgov and Luol Deng will need to prove that they deserve the contracts they signed with the recent free agency.
Photo courtesy: @ivicazubac/Twitter