Timofey Mozgov is NOT the second coming of Shaquille O’Neal but the Los Angeles Lakers gave the Russian giant a gigantic contract early in 2016 NBA free agency anyway. Lakers rumors had L.A. team connected to the top free agents but no big name FA has signed in Hollywood yet.
Mozgov earned a combined total of about $27 million in his first years in the NBA with stints for the New York Knicks, Denver Nuggets and Cleveland Cavaliers. In his new contract for with the Lakers, he will earn $64 million over the next four years; or $16 million per season starting this year until 2020.
$16 million per season for Timofey Mozgov, who was a member of the 2016 NBA Champions Cleveland Cavaliers but logged in just 17.4 minutes in the regular season and a whopping 5.8 minutes per game in the playoffs!
There are still Lakers rumors that L.A. will be chasing other top free agents this summer. So all is not lost for the Lakers this summer.
Who are the NBA star players who will earn LESS than Timofey Mozgov for the 2016-2017 season? As SR noted, Mozgov will earn more than back-to-back NBA MVP Stephen Curry next season!
(Lakers fans still reading at this point might want to look away now.)
Timofey Mozgov and his $16M versus average salary of the some of the key stars or starters in other NBA teams:
Boston Celtics – Isaiah Thomas ($6.75M), Jae Crowder ($7M) and Avery Bradley ($8M)
Brooklyn Nets – Thaddeus Young ($13.5M)
Charlotte Hornets – Kemba Walker ($12M)
Chicago Bulls – Robin Lopez ($13.5M)
Denver Nuggets – Kenneth Faried ($12.5M)
Detroit Pistons – Reggie Jackson ($16M)
Golden State Warriors – Stephen Curry ($11M)
Houston Rockets – James Harden ($15.75M)
Indiana Pacers – Monta Ellis ($10.9M)
Memphis Grizzlies – Zach Randolph ($10M)
Milwaukee Bucks – Khris Middleton ($14M)
Minnesota Timberwolves – Ricky Rubio ($13.5M)
Oklahoma City Thunder – Russell Westbrook ($15.7M)
Orlando Magic – Nikola Vucevic ($13.25M)
Phoenix Suns – Erick Bledsoe ($14M) and Brandon Knight ($14M)
Toronto Raptors – Kyle Lowry ($12M)
Utah Jazz – Gordon Hayward ($15.75M)
*Note: We selected players that are not on their rookie deals
With the numbers above, did the Lakers overpay for Timofey Mozgov? Or do they know something about the Russian center that fans and experts don’t know about?
What is clear is that Mozgov must average near the double-double range starting next season or there are going to be riots in Hollywood. Or he’d be part of the headlines in Lakers rumors next season that he’s available in the trade market.
Photo courtesy: Алексей Кузяшин/Wikimedia Commons