The Lakers’ continual search for a big man led them to a backup center for the
Still trying to find someone to replace
The Lakers moved quickly, reaching agreement with Mozgov within 45 minutes of the start of the free-agent period. He made $4.95 million last season.
The Lakers think they can get some quality minutes — and perhaps play too — out of Mozgov, who displayed a handful of memorable moments in a six-year
In last year’s NBA Finals, he averaged 14 points and 7.5 rebounds for a decimated Cavaliers team. He was slowed by off-season knee surgery, reportedly having a cyst removed, and eventually lost his starting job to
Current Lakers assistant coach Brian Shaw was Mozgov’s head coach for about 11/2 seasons with the
The Lakers were intrigued by
The Lakers never formally contacted Atlanta’s
The Mozgov deal leaves the Lakers with about $40 million to spend toward next season's payroll.
The Lakers are also highly interested in
He put up well-rounded numbers in his only season in Charlotte after seven in Portland, averaging 14.9 points, 6.1 rebounds and 5.8 assists.
The Lakers made qualifying offers to three players Thursday, officially making them restricted free agents: guards
The Lakers want to keep Clarkson and plan to match if he signs an offer sheet with another team.
Clarkson, 24, can also merely accept his one-year qualifying deal of $2.7 million next season with the Lakers and become an unrestricted free agent in 2017.
Black, 24, fell out of the rotation under Coach Byron Scott and averaged 3.4 points and four rebounds in only 39 games.
Huertas, 33, showed some promise with crafty passing in his first NBA season after several years of international play. He averaged 4.5 points and 3.4 assists in limited playing time.
The qualifying offers for Black and Huertas were each about $1.1 million. Like Clarkson, they can sign an offer sheet with another team but the Lakers have the right to match.