In a recent interview with Russian media, Timofey Mozgov was asked directly about whether he would like to play with LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
“Of course, it would be interesting to play for David Blatt’s team. I know his coaching philosophy well, after working with him on (the) Russian national team,” said Mozgov. “I would like to play with LeBron. But even though playing for a contender is cool, you got to understand that I want to be part of the team and not to just join a contender and ride the coattails, being a burden.”
Of course, media outlets will run with this and misinterpret his comments as a desire to be traded away from the Denver Nuggets to reunite with his former coach and James, but that is far from how it actually happened, and frankly there is no chance that a deal will actually happens.
If someone were to ask you if you would like to reunite with one of your favorite bosses and the biggest influencer in your industry, how would you respond? I imagine it would read much like Mozgov’s comments.
Mozgov also stated that he has no plans to force his way out of Denver, and that he values being part of this team. Of course, that part will be conveniently omitted from reports about this situation.
I have said it before, and I will continue to beat this drum until this situation goes away, the Cavaliers have nothing of value that they are willing to part ways with, and the Nuggets would want in return. The money doesn’t work, the interests aren’t aligned and it just doesn’t make any sense.
All of this said, the Nuggets are wise to begin considering options for Mozgov while he has such high value, especially if they are hedging their bets on Jusuf Nurkic panning out. Mozgov won’t be a free agent until 2016, but the Nuggets have a team option on him next season which they will undoubtedly exercise, assuming they haven’t found a suitable trade partner.
The Cavaliers are not, and will not be that partner. These rumors have no merit..