Mozgov’s $16.72MM salary for next season is fully guaranteed and Orlando will use the stretch provision to avoid going over the luxury tax threshold, Josh Robbins of The Athletic tweets. His salary will be stretched at a cost of $5.57MM per year over the next three years. By stretching Mozgov’s contract, Orlando could potentially retain restricted free agent Khem Birch, Robbins adds (Twitter links). Orlando made Birch an RFA by extending a $1.82MM qualifying offer.
The Magic were $3MM over the luxury tax line and a projected $890K below the tax apron prior to waiving Mozgov, according to ESPN’s Bobby Marks. By stretching Mozgov, Orlando falls $8.2MM under the tax and $12MM under the apron, Marks adds.
Mozgov, 32, was one of the big winners during the free agent frenzy of 2016, as he signed a four-year, $64MM deal with the Lakers. Buyer’s remorse quickly set in as he only appeared in 54 games with Los Angeles before he was traded to Brooklyn. The Hornets acquired him last summer, then shipped him to Orlando.
Given his injury situation and lack of production in prior years, Mozgov made find it difficult landing another NBA job.