Lakers sign Russian center Mozgov

Fri Jul 8, 2016 4:30pm EDT
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(Reuters) - Russian center Timofey Mozgov, who played for the NBA champion Cleveland Cavaliers last season, was signed by the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday to help beef up one of the worst defenses in the league.

Though terms of the deal were not disclosed by the team, local media estimate Mozgov's contract to be worth $64 million over four years.

"Timofey is a player who has shown the ability to change the game at the defensive end, and fills an area of need for us at the center position," Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak said in a statement. "We are very pleased to add him to our team."

The seven-foot one-inch (2.16 meters) Mozgov, who will celebrate his 30th birthday on July 16, averaged 6.3 points and 4.4 rebounds for Cleveland last season in a support role.

In six NBA seasons with the Cavaliers, the Denver Nuggets and New York Knicks, the Russian has averaged 6.9 points and 5.0 rebounds with a career field goal percentage of 53.7.

The struggling Lakers finished the 2015-16 season at the bottom of the Western Conference standings with a 17-65 record, the worst in franchise history.

(Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Los Angeles; Editing by Andrew Both)

Jan 29, 2016; Auburn Hills, MI, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers center Timofey Mozgov (20) high fives guard Iman Shumpert (4) during the first quarter against the Detroit Pistons at The Palace of Auburn Hills. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sport