Building on just the big three and no defense isn’t a smart move, so the Cleveland Cavaliers are trying to make sure they have sufficient depth and rim protection to back up their stars, showing a lot of interest in Timofey Mozgov, who last played for the Denver Nuggets, to be their replacement center.
Having a lineup that includes LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, Kevin Love, Dion Waiters and Anderson Varejao is nice, but it does mean some holes on defense with the opening lineup and whoever comes off the bench for this team. Mozgov is currently signed for one more season with the Denver Nuggets, and the Cavaliers are offering a first round draft pick for him, having no more assets left (or ones that they want to get rid of) to trade.
Mozgov found himself starting 30 games last season for the Nuggets, appearing in all 82, averaging 9.4 points and 6.4 rebounds per game. Obviously, he’s very limited in what he can bring to the floor, but he’s a solid rim protector and a useful player in the paint, although not to varied in the number of moves he was with his back to the basket, and is probably a bit slow when it comes to coming out of his comfort zone on defense.
Still, for a team with three superstars in the lineup, a solid big man in Anderson Varejao and Dion Waiters as well, they don’t need anything more than simply a guy who can give them important minutes off the bench without giving up too much for him and during his 15 minutes on the court.
Another issue is Varejao, who hasn’t been healthy for a full season in quite some time (2009-2010). Kevin Love will obviously help by being able to play center and give the Cavs some more options, but knowing Mozgov isn’t a stranger to carrying the load of a starting center is important, because there’s nothing surprising about Varejao suddenly being unable to play.