Knicks Trade Rumors: Timofey Mozgov Is Ideal Fit for New York

Mike MoraitisAnalyst IFebruary 21, 2013

DENVER, CO - DECEMBER 18:  Timofey Mozgov #25 of the Denver Nuggets takes a free throw against the San Antonio Spurs at the Pepsi Center on December 18, 2012 in Denver, Colorado. The Nuggets defeated the Spurs 112-106. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

The New York Knicks desperately need an upgrade to their frontcourt before the NBA's Feb. 21 trade deadline passes, and Timofey Mozgov of the Denver Nuggets would be just what the doctor ordered.

According to Marc Berman of the New York Post, the Knicks have Mozgov on their radar:

With Rasheed Wallace’s and Marcus Camby’s health a nagging concern despite their returns to practice yesterday, the Knicks are one of a handful of teams to inquire about Nuggets center Timofey Mozgov this month, according to a league source.

Mozgov entered the league with the Knicks back in 2010 when he signed a three-year deal. He was a part of the trade that sent Carmelo Anthony to the Knicks that season.

There was plenty of hype around Mozgov when New York brought him in, but he hasn't been able to live up to those expectations.

Instead, Mozgov is averaging just 4.1 points and 3.2 rebounds per game in three seasons. Mozgov has seen his already limited role diminish even further on the Nuggets, as he sits behind Kostas Koufas and JaVale McGee.

The Knicks have major issues in the big-man department this season. Rasheed Wallace and Marcus Camby have dealt with injury problems throughout the season, so that has left New York with a lack of depth and size in its frontcourt.

Mozgov has the right size to be an impact big man for the Knicks, and at age 26, he isn't likely to break down anytime soon.

Furthermore, Mozgov will be an unrestricted free agent at season's end, so the Knicks could either let him go if things don't work out or keep him if he proves to be an important player.

Don't let his numbers fool you, though. Even his current head coach, George Karl, believes Mozgov can give 20 quality minutes per night, according to Berman's piece:

“I know he can play in this league, I know he’s a 20-minute player,’’ Denver coach George Karl said last week. “I just don’t have 20 minutes to give him. I feel bad for him.’’

Last season, Mozgov played a little over 15 minutes per night and averaged 5.4 points, 4.1 rebounds and one block per game game. If the Knicks can get him that much playing time, those numbers will be a huge boost off the bench for head coach Mike Woodson's squad.

With his size, athleticism and youth, Mozgov makes perfect sense for what the Knicks need right now. All that's left is finding the right package of players to entice the Nuggets to give him up, and the Knicks could have their man.