Fans of the Cleveland Cavaliers awoke today to see the team lost a player less than an hour into NBA free agency. Timofey Mozgov, who went from starting center to twelfth man in the blink of an eye, agreed to a four-year, $64 million contract with the Los Angeles Lakers. Obviously, the Cavs weren’t expected to give him that much money this summer, so the speed at which he sought greener pastures was no surprise.
At the end of the day, Mozgov was already expected to suit up for another team next year. His removal from Cleveland’s rotation made his exit a certainty. Quite frankly, the Cavs just didn’t have Mozgov high on their list of free agents to lock up.
With only a $3.5 million mini mid-level exception to work with, Cleveland’s free agency focus is once again honed in on retaining its own players. Right now, one of the most important signings the team needs to make is J.R. Smith.