The NBA trade rumors are heating up, with reports that the Cleveland Cavaliers are looking to deal Timofey Mozgov just one year after paying a big sum for the Russian big man.
Reports have circulated this week that the Cavs are putting the center on the trade block, looking for something to put them over the top. Though the Cavaliers are atop the Eastern Conference, they have struggled against the league’s better teams and are in need of more depth to compete with the likes of the Warriors and Spurs.
The Cavs acquired Mozgov last year in an attempt to better protect the rim, giving up two first-round picks in exchange for the 7-footer. But while he did help improve the team’s low-post defense, Mozgov has struggled against smaller lineups. That came to a head on Monday night when the Golden State Warriors blew out the Cavaliers and the smaller Draymond Green feasted on Mozgov.
— NBC Sports (@NBCSports) January 20, 2016
Mozgov was also relegated to the bench often during the NBA Finals last year, with the Warriors going small and forcing the Cavs to counter.
Mozgov has found himself on the bench more and more this year, with his playing time dropping by nearly 8 minutes a game. And as SportsBlog notes, his numbers are sinking as well.
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) January 16, 2016
“He has only contributed 6 points and 4.3 rebounds on 50% shooting, 9% points less than last season. His PER has dropped from a solid 18.7, to 13.0,” Brad Winter wrote. “He has also seen his remarkably high offensive rating of 117 fall to 104. Mozgov also makes his team 7.6 points worse per 100 possessions when he is on the court, having negative impacts on both offense and defense. Because of all this, coach Blatt has opted for Tristan Thompson in his starting lineup in recent games.”
The NBA trade rumors regarding Timofey Mozgov aren’t fully clear yet. Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports reported that he could appeal to a number of Western Conference contenders, but didn’t list any teams specifically.
But as NESN noted, the Cavaliers will need to come up with some kind of answer if they want to compete for the title this year.
“Cleveland can shop Mozgov, but it’s hard to come up with a trade package that would give them a realistic chance of beating the Warriors or San Antonio Spurs in a seven-game playoff series. Those teams have too much depth at both ends of the floor. The Cavs’ bench just isn’t good enough right now, and they have less than 30 days to fix it with the Feb. 18 trade deadline approaching.”
There are other NBA trade rumors surrounding the Cleveland Cavaliers. While Timofey Mozgov is on the trade block, there are also reports that the team may be entertaining offers for Kevin Love as well. As Fansided noted, Love has failed to blossom alongside LeBron James the way Chris Bosh did in Miami. Bosh adjusted his style to better complement James, the report noted.
“As we know now, Bosh adjusted his game and became a key factor in Miami winning two NBA Championships during their four years under LeBron James tutelage,” the report noted. “Will Love do the same? Maybe. But, so far, we haven’t seen it.”
If there is any truth to the NBA trade rumors, the Cleveland Cavaliers could be puling the trigger very soon. The trade deadline is just a few weeks away, and the market could be heating up soon as other teams start to make moves.
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