One of the pieces that helped the Cleveland Cavaliers the most shrug off their bad start last season was Timofey Mozgov after coming in via trade. This season it hasn’t been the same, becoming a source of concern.
The Russian center isn’t worried. He thinks his issues have to do with the surgery he had on his knee being the main reason why his offense and defense have been a lot less effective, and it’ll take time before he gets to the required level.
He is scoring 7 points per game this season, with his scoring per minute dropping as well. Maybe the most worrying sign for him and the Cavs is his contribution to team success: Last season the Cavs had a +12.3 net rating when he was on the floor, but this season they’re actually -0.8 per 100 possession when he plays. They’re doing a lot better when he isn’t playing.
Mozgov needs this season to be a good one, at least like his run with the Cavs last season. He is going into a contract year after the Cavaliers picked up his $4.95 million option during the summer. A bad year might mean losing millions, although big centers who are useful usually get what they want in terms of money in the NBA.