Why It’s Best For The Cavs To Stick With Timofey Mozgov
When Timofey Mozgov arrived in Cleveland last year, the dynamics of the team, especially on the defensive end, changed. He protected the paint and kept plays alive with his length and athleticism. It’s difficult to imagine the Cavs going as far as they did without the seven-foot Russian.
In their previous campaign, Mozgov went on to norm 10.6 points, 6.9 rebounds, and 1.2 blocks in 46 regular season games for the Cavaliers. In the playoffs, he continued his solid paint presence and had nightly numbers of 10.6 points, 7.3 boards, and 1.8 blocks. This season, the Cleveland Cavaliers currently hold the third best record in the league. They have won 26 of their 35 assignments, all with Mozgov still trying to regain his rhythm.
It’s not a secret that Mozgov underwent an arthroscopic knee surgery in the offseason. The rehabilitation process has been tough for the veteran center and frustration oftentimes kicked in, resulting in a divided focus to compound his already limited gait. His numbers have been affected as he is suffering a noticeable decrease in the most significant categories.
In the past few days, teams have reportedly inquired on the availability of the seven footer in trades. Rival GMs see an excellent buy low opportunity in Cleveland because they know what Mozgov can bring to their stable. Once healthy, he will be out there protecting the paint, being physical, and outrunning most seven footers in the league.
But those suitors may very well be just that, because there is no logical reason why the Cleveland Cavaliers would let go of their only legitimate shotblocker. Him playing like this with the Cavs playing this well screams mad potential for this special group of athletes. As with any of their previously injured players, there is no need to rush Mozgov into shape because of the depth that the Cavaliers enjoy.
He may be exposed by teams playing small ball but not everyone play consistently great in the small ball attack as the Golden State Warriors. Outside of the defending champions, he has proven to be a very effective rotation player against teams fielding traditional lineups. Potential postseason opponents such as Atlanta, Chicago, and other eastern powers boast of deep frontcourt rotations. Mozgov will be very useful against these teams.
Timofey Mozgov is also set to become a restricted free agent in the offseason and may demand a stiff price based on the contracts that other big men have received, but Dan Gilbert allows GM David Griffin to be very flexible as the Cavs majority owner has proven, time and again, that money is never an issue when it comes to improving the team.
With more than half of the season still in the horizon, there is absolutely no need to press the panic button for the Cavaliers. Trading Mozgov could potentially be a step backwards and teams may only be looking to break this team and not let them reach their peak, because when that happens, the Cavs will be extremely hard to stop.