Before the latest season started, it was just assumed that Timofey Mozgov – the Russian center who provided the Cleveland Cavaliers with some much needed paint protection last postseason – was in line for a big contract extension. He played a major role in the Cavs’ success after they traded for him last year, and some were even claiming he could receive a max offer after this season.
However, it’s unlikely anyone still thinks this could be the case now. Mozgov has struggled through much of the season, in part due to what appears to be a slow recovery from offseason knee surgery. He hasn’t been nearly as tough a defender as he was last year, and has often been tentative when getting the ball down low. As a result, his minutes have dropped, with Cleveland even starting Tristan Thompson in his place more often than not.
The hope was this was just a funk he could play his way out of. That said, we’re almost at the halfway point of the season, and Mozgov still can’t seem to return to form. It’s been such a struggle that, unfortunately for him, his name is being tossed around the trade rumor mill.