Despite not really impressing through his first few seasons in the NBA, Timofey Mozgov has size that make him a valuable asset to almost any team in the league, even if they aren’t planning on using him for too many minutes, making the Sacramento Kings’ interest in him quite obvious.
The Kings have only one natural center on the team – DeMarcus Cousins, with Jason Thompson being the other big man (6’11) who can potentially play the position, but it’s quite obvious he’s not suited for it. Mozgov, a restricted free agent, earned $10.1 million during his first three NBA seasons, but wasn’t given too many chances to prove his abilities, averaging 12.1 minutes a night throughout his NBA career.
The best thing Mozgov is remembered for? That vicious dunk by Blake Griffin during his rookie season, when it seemed that every game produced two-three dunks worthy of putting on a highlight reel.
But the combination of size and his age (only 26) make him a very valuable target. The problem for the Kings? They barely have room to use on their salary cap, but they are considering using the Amnesty clause on John Salmons, who is due to make $14.5 million over the next couple of season. Averaging in single digits over the last couple of seasons while playing almost 30 minutes a night (shooting 39.9% from the field last season) getting rid of him seems like a path they should pursue.
That should give them enough money to at least put out a respectable offer sheet to Mozgov ($9 million, 3 years? Maybe slightly more), although at the moment, even though the Nuggets hardly used him last season (8.9 minutes per game, not a second of basketball in the playoffs), rumors suggest that they’re likely to match any offer that comes his way.
Why? JaVale McGee is the only center they have left after Kostas Koufos joined the Memphis Grizzlies. While J.J. Hickson can play the position, he’s a lot more useful playing as a power forward than a center. There’s a chance that Mozgov has bigger minutes coming his way, which would make the Kings’ chase after him slightly futile.