According to Chris Tomasson of Fox Sports Florida, the Nuggets have placed Mozgov on the chopping block and the Heat are among the teams who might make a play for his services:
An intriguing big man has emerged on the trading block that the Miami Heat could go after.
League sources said the Denver Nuggets are looking to deal center Timofey Mozgov, who has been unable to get much playing time on a deep team and has an expiring contract. Mozgov is aware he could be moved by the Feb. 21 trade deadline.
“It think it’s logical, you can see that, trading me,’’ Mozgov said in an interview with FOX Sports Florida. “I’m in my contract year. So if they can get something for me… I don’t think it would be a surprise for me (to be traded).’’
Miami is looking for a big man. It remains to be seen if the Heat could come up with an offer to entice the Nuggets for the 7-foot-1 Mozgov, making $2.79 million.
At 7’1″, the 26-year-old Mozgov would provide the Heat with plenty of what they need. Miami is currently dead last in rebounds per game (38.6) and 17th in blocks (5.2) as well. Their most viable big men right now is Joel Anthony, who while valuable on defense, hinders their offensive attack considerably.
Mozgov, though far from polished, provides more of a two-way presence. His touch around the basket is decent and while his back to the basket sets are a work in progress, he can score some. Most importantly, though, he can rebound. He’s averaging 11 rebounds per 36 minutes on the season, and 2.3 blocks per 36 minutes as well.
I won’t pretend that taking on a raw talent like Mozgov is ideal for a Miami team looking to repeat as NBA champions, but the Heat aren’t in a position to be overly selective. As teams like the Utah Jazz have shown, they’re weak beyond reason down low and need a sizable presence who can, at the very least, contest shots, rebound and body up against bigger and stronger post players.
That presence can be Mozgov, who is averaging just 10 minutes of burn a night with the Nuggets. He can do all of that and has the potential to turn into a formidable center down the road.
Unfortunately, landing Mozgov is easier said than done. He is available, but he’s also on an expiring deal so the Nuggets aren’t about to just give him away. If they’re not taken by any offers, they’re better off just letting his salary come off the books.
As a team, Miami doesn’t have too many enticing trade pieces. Norris Cole might peak Denver’s interest as a third point guard who’s young, athletic and bursting with potential. But are the Heat liable to relinquish Cole, who has proven valuable to their cause on more than one occasion?
I wouldn’t bank on it.
What I would bank on is Miami attempting to find a way to bring Mozgov to South Beach. Even if it involves bringing a third team into play, you can bet the Heat are going to explore any and all options when it comes to shoring up the center position.
And despite his age and lack of experience, Mozgov would be a much better fit for Miami’s underwhelming interior attack than anything the team has to offer right now.
Dan Favale is a firm believer in the three-pointer as well as the notion that defense doesn’t always win championships. His musings can be found at Bleacherreport.com in addition to TheHoopDoctors.com. Follow @danfavale on Twitter for his latest posts and all things NBA.