Center Timofey Mozgov has had a somewhat rough time in the Rocky Mountains with the Denver Nuggets. Ever since being traded there during the 2010-11 season as part of the blockbuster Carmelo Anthony trade, Mozgov’s playing time has been sporadic with the team.
After two underwhelming years playing for George Karl, Mozgov had a bounce-back year this past season playing for Bryan Shaw, averaging 9.4 PPG, 6.4 RPG, and 1.2 BPG on 52 percent shooting from the field in a career-high 21.9 MPG. Unfortunately, most people remember Mozgov’s name because of an absolutely vicious dunk Blake Griffin threw down in his grill when he was a member of the New York Knicks. In fact, the term “Mosgov-ed” is popular amongst many fans and analysts for when a player gets posterized.
Well, it has been rumored that the Cleveland Cavaliers are heavily pursuing the 7-foot-1, 250-pound big man from Russia. This is a great under-the-radar move if they could somehow pull it off, considering that the one thing they lack right now is rim protection. Anderson Varejao is an overall excellent big man and rebounder for the Cavs, but he has only averaged over one block per game one season in his 10-year career.
One player who the Cavs might want to consider parting with, if they really want Mozgov, is power forward Tristan Thompson. With the acquisition of Kevin Love, this undoubtedly pushes Thompson to the bench should he remain on the team.
It is clear that he is a starting-caliber player in the NBA, and the Nuggets might be open to playing a super small-ball lineup starting him and Kenneth Faried next to one another. Mozgov already has a strong connection with David Blatt, the new head coach of the Cavs, who coached him while he was a member of the Russian national team.
Right now, it is uncertain whether the Nuggets are open to dealing him, but it is clear that the Cavs want Mozgov badly.
The Cavs are viewing Mozgov as the final piece of the puzzle for their squad, and so far they have gotten everything they wanted this offseason. Do not be shocked if they somehow get a deal completed within the next few days.