When free agency begins on July 1, Cleveland Cavaliers center Timofey Mozgov may have options.
According to a report from ESPN’s Ian Begley, the New York Knicks are interested in Mozgov. While they have also been linked to Joakim Noah, Pau Gasol and others, Mozgov is also an option.
The Knicks are interested in Joakim Noah, but he isn't the only big man on their radar. Another center some in the Knicks organization are high on is Timofey Mozgov, per league sources. The interest between Noah and the Knicks is strong and mutual. But Mozgov, an ex-Knick, provides an interesting alternative. With Carmelo Anthony, Derrick Rose and Kristaps Porzingis on the roster, the Knicks probably won't need a high-scoring center. Mozgov doesn't need touches and would provide mobile rim protection and rebounding. He also compares favorably to Noah in some categories (age: Mozgov is 29, Noah is 31; recent health: Noah was limited to 29 games last season due to a left shoulder injury).
Mozgov’s free agency is going to be interesting. At his best, he’s a mobile, useful rim protector. But he wasn’t that player for most this season and didn’t play much for the Cavs during the playoffs.
In theory, he’s going to be out of the Cavs’ price range anyway. A team like the Knicks or Dallas Mavericks that need a center can offer Mozgov much more than the Cavs can. New York could also promise Mozgov a starting role next to Kristaps Porzingis and the Cavs likely will continue to start Tristan Thompson at center while also giving Channing Frye minutes off the bench. But those other teams could also sign other players and Mozgov could be re-signed at a lower price if the Cavs are inclined to try and keep him.
Mozgov actually entered the NBA with the Knicks and spent half a season there before being traded the Denver Nuggets. The Cavs acquired him last January in a trade with the Nuggets.