NBA

Lakers News: Timofey Mozgov regrets leaving ‘champs for a club that can’t even make the playoffs’

PHOTOGRAPH: Bryan Horowitz/Flickr | Timofey Mozgov

Timofey Mozgov seems to regret his decision to leave the Cleveland Cavaliers for the Los Angeles Lakers last summer. Mozgov admitted having a hard time making adjustments with the Lakers, especially after two of his close friends leave.

“It was hard to leave the champs for a club that can’t even make the playoffs. Of course, it was hard. And this also applies to the players and their attitude. They face very different challenges. My best friend in the team was Marcelo Huertas until he left. Still, I had a good relationship with a guy who worked as an assistant coach on physical preparation. But he was fired. I get along well with everyone, I just can’t say that I am close to anyone,” Mozgov said.

Timofey Mozgov fails to impress in his first season with the Lakers

As the 2016 free agency hit, the Lakers made a quick move and offered Timofey Mozgov a four-year deal worth $64 million. Mozgov didn’t even think twice before signing the contract and agreed to join the purple and gold. As most people think, the deal was too good to pass for an aging backup center.

The move earned plenty of criticisms but the Lakers insisted that they made the right decision. Unfortunately, Mozgov didn’t live up to expectations and turned out to be one of the worst signings for the Lakers. In 54 games he played this season, he only averaged 7.4 points and 4.9 rebounds per game.

He’s almost non-existent on the defensive end, allowing the opposing teams to easily penetrate the basket. Though the Lakers want to trade him this offseason, they will be having a hard time moving the remaining three years of his contract. If they are serious about trading him, they should consider parting ways with some of their young players.

Timofey Mozgov talks about mid-season benching

Mozgov expressed his frustration when the Lakers decided to shut him down after the All-Star break. The Russian center revealed that even coach Luke Walton was surprised with the management’s decision.

“The coach told me about it before the game. It was a big surprise for me. Honestly, it was surprise to everyone, even coach Walton. I still don’t understand what motivated the management to make such decision. I did not try to find out the details. They don’t want to put me in, so I don’t want to also,” Mozgov said.

As of now, it remains questionable if Mozgov will regain the starting spot in the 2017-18 NBA season. With the continuous improvement of Ivica Zubac, it will not be a surprise if Walton will use him as their starting center next season.

Photo courtesy: Bryan Horowitz/Flickr

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