L.A. Lakers trade rumors about Nick Young and Timofey Mozgov seem to be on the Christmas lists for many fans of the team. Social media continues to be flooded with trade proposals created by fans that send Young, Mozgov, or both to other teams in exchange for pieces that could help the Lakers contend in the Western Conference. A report by NBA analyst Steve Kyler addressed a few of those Lakers rumors but may have thrown a lot of cold water on the situation.
During this past NBA offseason, the Lakers tried to address a lack of size in the low post by signing free agent Timofey Mozgov. It would be an understatement to call that signing a “bust” at this point, as the Lakers gave Mozgov a deal worth about $64 million over four seasons. That made Mozgov the second-highest paid player on the roster, just behind the four-year, $72 million deal that Luol Deng also received in free agency.
The situation has quickly turned from Timofey Mozgov getting the support of fans to his name getting frequently mentioned in L.A. Lakers trade rumors. In 30 games with his new team, Mozgov is averaging just 7.8 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 0.5 blocks per game. He is also averaging only 20.9 minutes a night, not combining well with the amount of money he is being paid. Kyler puts it very bluntly when analyzing his value on the trade market.
“You should be concerned about the length of both Mozgov and Luol Deng, but that was the cost to land them. Having talked to some teams about how free agency went, a few teams tried to be smart with their money and they never got a second phone conversation. It was really clear early that if you wanted a guy you had to come big or you’d lose him to someone else. I wouldn’t count on anyone helping the Lakers out of the Mozgov deal. They might be able to swap bad money for bad money.”
Then there are the continued L.A. Lakers trade rumors about Nick Young. He makes about $5.5 million this season and has a player option worth about $5.7 million for the next NBA season. Young has started 24 games at shooting guard this year, averaging 14.5 points, 2.4 rebounds, and 1.1 assists a night. He is shooting 46.5 percent from the field and 41.1 percent from three-point range, which would actually be career-high numbers if he can sustain it for the rest of the year. That might actually lead to a team picking up the phone.
NBA analyst Steve Kyler also addressed questions from fans about Nick Young and whether he saw the team dealing him this year or during the coming offseason. There don’t seem to be a lot of scenarios where the Lakers can use the veteran guard to bring back talent, but it’s always possible that he could get included to match the salaries of other players changing hands.
“It’s possible Nick is traded, but having talked to teams about Nick Young specifically, he does not have a lot of fans. It’s more likely than not he plays out his deal in LA, mostly because there is no market for him and the Lakers don’t see open to trade or changes.”
The Lakers clearly still have some work to do with the current roster, as the team is currently on a trajectory to miss the 2017 NBA Playoffs. It doesn’t help matters that Larry Nance Jr. just suffered just suffered a bone bruise against the Charlotte Hornets and will be out indefinitely. While fans of the team can continue to hope for acquisitions like Nerlens Noel of the Philadelphia 76ers or Hassan Whiteside of the Mimi Heat, there isn’t much substance to any L.A. Lakers trade rumors that include Nick Young or Timofey Mozgov.
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