AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill

Report: Lakers shut down healthy Timofey Mozgov for rest of season


Timofey Mozgov has sat for 12 of the Lakers’ last 14 games, and he played just 26 combined minutes in the other two. He was even inactive for Los Angeles’ last two games.

Now, the Lakers are deemphasizing him even further.


The Los Angeles Lakers have shut down center Timofey Mozgov, who is healthy, to take a stronger look at the team’s younger players for the rest of the season, a source told The Undefeated’s Marc J. Spears.

Just three years and $48 million left on Mozgov’s contract.

And as long as we’re at it, three years and $54 million left on Luol Deng‘s contract. Deng has also fallen from the rotation and became a regular inactive before Mozgov. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s also completely shut down soon.

The Lakers are better off playing their young players, Brandon Ingram over Deng and Ivica Zubac and Tarik Black over Mozgov. Not only will that help the youngsters develop, they’re less equipped to help the team win now. The Lakers are especially incentivized to tank, because they keep their first-round pick in a loaded 2017 draft only if it lands in the top three. Otherwise, it goes to the 76ers – and the Lakers’ 2019 first-rounder goes to the Magic.

Though the right strategy now, this is also a reminder of the misguided Jim Buss era. The Lakers are paying Mozgov and Deng a lot of money, and neither is contributing on the court given the Lakers’ obvious objectives. Even if the Lakers try to win during the next three years, Mozgov and Deng could age past helping that cause.

There isn’t much hope in this situation, but maximizing it involves keeping Mozgov and Deng healthy and developing higher-upside, younger players.

Shutting down Mozgov is, sadly and predictably, the optimal move at this point.

John Wall agrees to four-year $170 million contract extension

Leave a comment

John Wall had a designated player super max contract sitting in front of him (figuratively) since July 1, but he wanted to wait and see what the Wizards would do this summer, and talk to his family about a decision that could lock him in Washington for six years.

He saw the Wizards spend — they matched a max offer sheet for Otto Porter. He also looked around the East and decided this is where he wanted to be. He agreed to the extension on Friday, a story broken by David Aldridge of TNT/NBA TV.

This is a four-year, $170 million extension that kicks in after the two-years, $37.1 million left on Wall’s current deal.

Wall has developed into one of the top five point guards in the NBA, averaging 23.1 points per game last season while making his first All-NBA team (the third team, which he thought was a let down). He is a strong defensive point guard and still arguably the fastest guy in the league with the ball in his hands. He and Bradley Beal have formed one of the more formidable backcourts in the NBA.

Wall is now getting paid like an elite point guard, and he is just entering his prime.

Check out Boston’s Jayson Tatum’s 10 best plays from Summer League (VIDEO)

Leave a comment

Jayson Tatum was one of the standouts at Summer League.

The No. 3 pick of the Boston Celtics, Tatum came into the draft considered the most NBA-ready player of the class. He showed that at Summer League — he is a fluid athlete who knows how to knock down mid-range shots (and gets to his spots), he has great footwork for a young player, and can attack the rim. He tends to take and make difficult shots, but that will get harder against NBA-level defenders, and he didn’t often play-make for others. That said, he averaged 17.7 points and 8 rebounds per game.

Check out his best plays from Summer League, and if you’re a Celtics fan try not to drool too much.

Memphis Grizzlies sign former Oregon forward Dillon Brooks

Associated Press
Leave a comment

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — The Memphis Grizzlies have signed former Oregon forward Dillon Brooks, a second-round pick in last month’s NBA draft.

Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.

Brooks was selected by the Houston Rockets with the 45th overall pick. The Grizzlies acquired him in exchange for a future second-round pick.

Brooks, 21, averaged 16.1 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.7 assists as a junior at Oregon last season. He was named the Pac-12 player of the year and helped Oregon earn its first Final Four berth since 1939.


Looks like Kevin Love is subtweeting Kyrie Irving

1 Comment

Peculiar is not a word that comes up often in NBA talk. Not sure it comes up much of anywhere unless a Four Non-Blondes song is on the ’90s station, but especially in NBA talk it doesn’t come up. Until this week. First, there was this cryptic comment from Kyrie Irving earlier in the week about the state of the Cavaliers.

“Like I said, we’re in a peculiar place. The best thing we can do is handle things with class and professionalism.”

Friday it leaked that Kyrie Irving has asked to be traded from the Cavs. Which led to Kevin Love using the word “peculiar” in a tweet.

If you’re unfamiliar, “kick some rocks” is an impolite way of telling someone to leave, or take a walk (kicking rocks on the dirt road).

Fun times in Cleveland. Kobe Altman must be having a fun week in his new job.