Trade Grade: 5 Reasons Timofey Mozgov Was Worth The Picks
5. Winning Now is a More Realistic Mentality
This may be more speculative than reasonable, but the Cavs’ hypothesized dynasty of championships is more fable than fact due to the dynamics of the league. Ubiquitously speaking, the East is so bad; in fact, it’s been so bad for so long that the conference is due for a balancing shift of talent and competition.
Mature teams like Toronto and Atlanta will continue to develop; young and talented teams like Milwaukee and Detroit will grow up and take a couple more draft picks. New York, Philadelphia and other teams rebuilding this season will use their salary cap to lure the most expensive free agents. Washington requires just one more component (perhaps, Kevin Durant?) to stir the same frenzy Cleveland perpetuated in the summer of 2014. All that’s left are teams like Cleveland and Chicago, who have the depth, talent, and veteran experience to win it all now. If they can’t by 2016, they will face a different conference the following season that will make their path to the NBA Finals significantly harder with each proceeding season.
Sure, the Cavs are built for sustainable success having an All Star Point Guard in Kyrie Irving at just the age of 22. Consider, however, every year that ticks off of what’s left on LeBron’s Cavalier clock. The Cavaliers’ youth, depth and ability to compete with a rapidly growing Eastern Conference will come into question.
The deal for Timofey Mozgov was symbolic of this, as GM David Griffin has bet his biggest assets on one hand. The protected picks aren’t invaluable, and whomever the Cavs might’ve brought in wouldn’t have developed enough to immediately contribute like Mozgov; his maturity and aggressiveness add volume to his bulk, and hopefully he can help Cleveland play above speculation.