Center Timofey Mozgov has struggled during his first full campaign with the Cleveland Cavaliers, and it may result in the Cavs shipping the big Russian elsewhere before the trade deadline comes and goes.
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Latest on Mozgov's Trade Status
Saturday, Jan. 16
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports, the Cavaliers have called around the league in an effort to unload the 29-year-old.
Cleveland acquired him in a trade with the Denver Nuggets last season, and while he seemed to be a good fit, that hasn't carried over to 2015-16.
Mozgov is averaging just six points and 4.3 rebounds per game while shooting 50.3 percent from the field, all of which marks his worst production since 2012-13, when Denver used him sparingly off the bench.
The 7-footer's uneven play has worn thin on Cavs fans as well as LeBron James, who essentially implored Mozgov to turn things around after a recent poor showing against the Philadelphia 76ers, per ESPN.com's Dave McMenamin:
I'm not sure. I'm not sure where he's mentally. Only he knows that. As a leader of the team, you just give him as much positive energy, give him as much positive notion about what he needs to do for our team. But at the end of the day, like I told you guys last year about Kev [Love], you can give a guy so much but at the end of the day, you got to figure it out yourself too sometimes. I think he's at that point.
Mozgov's fall from grace is a significant one after he averaged 14 points and 7.5 rebounds per game in last season's NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors.
That included 28 points and 10 boards in a Game 4 loss in which he was clearly Cleveland's best player.
Despite Mozgov having proved capable of performing on the big stage, he could be an expendable piece for the Cavs due to the presence of Tristan Thompson in the middle. Anderson Varejao is also healthy, although he has played sparingly.
The biggest argument in favor of trading Mozgov may be the fact that he's an impending free agent, and if the Cavaliers can clear a roster spot for another impact addition prior to the deadline, dealing the struggling Mozgov may ultimately be worth it.
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