Cavs, Celtics, Grizzlies talked trade involving Koufos, Green and picks before Mozgov deal

I'm still trying to come to terms with the fact that Timofey Mozgov merited better picks than Rajon Rondo or any other influential players traded (or in most cases were unable to be traded) in the new CBA era. I mean, I have nothing against Mozgov, he's a good basketball player, legit 7-footer and has defensive skills which makes him a valuable commodity in today's NBA, but the guy is 28 years old and again, he is not Rondo. But anyways, Cleveland Cavaliers is in dire straits so maybe they had to do it. So I was ready to move on until I read this tweet from Zach Lowe:

Let's do some deductive thinking here and try to understand why this deal fell through:

Was it Memphis? As Mark reported earlier, the Grizzlies are still very much interested in acquiring Green, and when teams are engaged in 3-team deals, they usually have less to lose than in a 2-team deal. On the other hand, it's possible that Memphis decided to take a route where they only part with Tayshaun Prince instead of Koufos since Zach Randolph is battling an injury right now.

Was it Boston? Quite unlikely. As reported, the Celtics are looking for a first-rounder for Jeff Green, but I don't think Ainge would have refused multiple picks for a late first-rounder from a contender. If he did so, he made a mistake; but the Rondo deal has more or less demonstrated that Ainge has any motivation to act greedy at this point.

Was it Cleveland? Well, they have been targeting Koufos since Varejao was shut down for the season, but after the Mozgov trade reports have mentioned the "strong relationship" between David Blatt and Timofey Mozgov as a factor. It's quite possible that the Cavaliers simply elected to pursue Mozgov instead of Koufos because of that.

Now, Koufos is quite an underrated defender, a better one than Mozgov, with offensive contribution quite similar to Mozgov. He's three years younger than him, and he alters his opponents' FG% within 6 feet by -9.1%, and his Defensive Rating is 99.1. Compare that to Mozgov's -4.0 & 106.8. Yes, Koufos plays for the Grizzlies and Mozgov plays for the Nuggets so that's a factor, yet on-off court stats also paint a picture in favor of Koufos.

What does it come to? If the Grizzlies decided to leave the deal on the table due to Randolph's injury, well, tough luck for the Celtics. That is understandable. If the Cavaliers quit because they are the -insert any idiocy-related term here- Cavaliers, well, damn you Cavaliers! In any case, the Celtics really missed on a great trade opportunity, and all this makes me feel more pissed about the Rondo trade. Damn some teams are lucky and we just can't catch a break.

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