Back in June 2011, Celtics Life started a segment called "Green Target," where we discussed players the Celtics could target. We have't done one in a while, but with today being a key date in the NBA trading season (1st day guys signed/traded in the offseason can be dealt), figured we'd kick things off again. Yahoo! Sports' Marc Spears mentioned Mozgov as a top trade candidate yesterday:
Timofey Mozgov: Denver Nuggets, 26, C
Contract status: Making $3.1 million in last year of contract. Will be a restricted free agent at end of the season.
Buzz: Of their three centers, the Nuggets are most willing to part with Mozgov, who has proven in his short NBA career and Olympic play that he is a serviceable big man. The Nuggets probably won't try to re-sign him with two other free agents on the horizon: guard Andre Iguodala and reserve swingman Corey Brewer.
"It's logical because they have three centers and it's hard for [coach George] Karl to play them all," one NBA GM said. "The Nuggets are not a big revenue-generating team and they're not going to pay the tax."
How the Celtics could get him:
One would think that Mozgov could come cheaply, but with about half the NBA teams needing a center it would probably cost the C's Fab Melo, Kris Joseph, and at least 1 first round pick. I'm pretty sure the Nuggets would ask for Avery Bradley or Jared Sullinger, but that would be a non starter for Ainge. Mozgov isn't worth Bradley and if Sullinger was involved the C's would need to be getting something else back from Denver. It's also possible the Nuggets could have some interest in Leandro Barbosa due to his small contract and scoring ability off the bench.
Right now the Celtics best shot blocker is Chris Wilcox at only 1.2 blocks per 36 minutes). Bass and Sullinger are at 1.1 and KG is at 0.8. For his career Mozgov has averaged 2 blocks per 36 minutes, so he'd immediately become our best shot blocker. Mozgov has also averaged 9.2 rebounds per 36 minutes for his career. The only Celtic higher than that this season is Sully at 10 per 36 minutes. Mozgov is actually averaging 11.4 rebounds per 36 minutes this season. So conceivably he could be our best shot blocker AND rebounder. We desperately need both. The Celtics don't have the tradable assets to get a big name big man like Love, Gasol, Varejao, Jefferson, Gortat, etc, so Mozgov is realistically probably the best they can do. Celtics would still own the rights to match any offer for Mozgov next Summer when he becomes a restricted free agent.
The price to get him. For Melo, Joseph and a 1st rounder it's a no brainer. If you make that 2 picks then you have to think harder. If the Nuggets demand Sullinger, then it becomes a very tough call. All depends on how many suitors the Nuggets will have. My guess is they will have more than a few, so the cost will be high. One other possible con is that Mozgov could cost a lot to retain in the Summer. The Celtics have shown they have no problems trading or letting centers walk if they feel the price tag isn't worth it. Would suck to give up a lot for a possible rental.
REALISTIC trade possibility:
Fab Melo, Leandro Barbosa, and a 1st rounder for Timofey Mozgov. Do you make this trade? Please note the word "realistic." You're NOT getting Mozgov for just Fab Melo and a 2nd rounder. You have to give to get (Unless you're the Lakers of course). And again we don't have the tradable assets to get the sexier names on the trade market.
Sound off with your thoughts in the comments section.
Related: Report: Celtics "repeatedly" shopping Courtney Lee in trade talks
JR 12/15/2012 08:24:00 PM Tweet