The Los Angeles Lakers have one of the best young cores in the NBA consisting of D’Angelo Russell, Brandon Ingram, Jordan Clarkson, and Julius Randle. In free agency this summer, the Lakers have chosen to surround them with some talented veterans in Timofey Mozgov and Luol Deng.
Players like Deng and Mozgov are not game-changers by any means, but they do serve a role in helping those young Lakers develop. Those players developing will be key to the Lakers’ present and future.
Mozgov spoke about the young Lakers, saying that even though he hasn’t seen them play a lot, he knows they’re talented, according to Mark Medina of the LA Daily News:
“I’m not going to lie to you; I haven’t seen them play in a lot of games,” Mozgov said. “I’m sure they’re talented. But sometimes it takes one season or two seasons to understand yourself and what you have to do to be where you want to be. But I’m sure they’re all talented. They just have to work every day. I think we’re going to be good.”
Mozgov also spoke about what he will bring to the floor that he hopes will rub off on the rest of the team:
“You have to step on the court and improve the game with energy or defense or whatever you can do on the court. It’s not easy to do. I don’t think everybody can do it,” Mozgov said. “I’m not the best veteran in the world. But I know what’s going on with basketball. So hopefully that helps the other guys.”
With a new regime in place headlined by new coach Luke Walton, the Lakers will need to establish a culture. Players like Mozgov and Deng, as well as Lou Williams, will do that as the veterans will set the tone for the young guys.
Mozgov is expecting a big role on the Lakers both offensively and defensively, but arguably the most important thing he can bring to the team will be helping to put the young Lakers in a position to develop.