The Los Angeles Lakers will shut down a healthy Timofey Mozgov for the remainder of the season. According to Marc Spears, Lakers will shut him down to take a stronger look at their younger guys the rest of the season.
Head coach Luke Walton have not played Mozgov for the last 9 out of the 11 games. This recent move is to show you that Walton has high hopes on his young players. Another reason is to evaluate the young guys and see which players fit the club for the future.
The Lakers paid Mozgov $64 million for four years back in July. The group of people who completed the deal for Los Angeles no longer work there anymore (Jim Beanie and Mitch Kupchak).
Mozgov averaged 7.4 points and 5 rebounds in his first year playing for Los Angeles. He was supposed to be the rim protector the Lakers never in the past year, but opponents shooting 53.5 percent against him.
Zubac has been getting a lot of high praise from current centers in the NBA about how good his potential is. The 19-year-old is averaging 7 points and 4 rebounds this year. Those numbers are low because of the lack minutes he received per game, but since Walton has been playing him more his number risen. In March, he’s averaging 14 points, 5 rebounds and shooting 66 percent.
Black, on the other hand, is averaging 6 points and 5 rebounds. He is more of the energy guy on the court. He has the ability to keep plays alive by rebounding and giving the offense second chance points. Black is only 25-years-old and been in the league for two years.
Mozgov isn’t the only player that Los Angeles is sitting, Walton took Nick Young out the lineup for the first time. Walton said that it was not a punishment it was to get the young guys more playing time. The head coach wanted to see Tyler Enis and underrated free agent David Nwabe some minutes.
“Nick has been one of our best two players all year long,” Walton said.
Walton told the media that this change was supposed to help the young guys in the lineup.
“Again, Nick’s been absolutely great for us all year.” “But with giving Young so many minutes and wanting to see more of David and Ennis a little bit before the season end, it’s not really fair to him to keep playing four or five minutes per half. We’re thinking about making that move and committing even more so to the youth.”
The Lakers are currently the second worse team in the NBA with a 20-47 record. Part of the reason why Walton is making this move is to accomplish the tank this year. Possibly, because the Lakers pick will go to the Philadelphia 76ers if they fall out of the top 3 pick in the draft.