Following up on our report earlier in the week, Brian Lewis spoke with the agent for Timofey Mozgov. Stanislav Ryzhov told the Post that he and Mozgov have met with Sean Marks about his situation, but added that they did not made any trade demands and there are no discussions of a buyout either.
That doesn’t mean Mozgov and Ryzhov are happy with the Russian big man’s situation. Far from it. He played only 31 games last season and lost his starting job first to Tyler Zeller then to Jarrett Allen after averaging only 5.4 points and 4.6 rebounds in 13 early season games.
“Yes, Mozgov is not satisfied, and Nets know about it. He is motivated to play and hates sitting on the bench,” Ryzhov told Lewis. “We are 100 percent sure that he is still a contributor, even in nowadays super-fast NBA fashion. However, it makes no sense now to put a trade ultimatum, considering [the] general situation this summer in the league and Timofey’s contract. We’re sure if some good trade possibility comes, we are going to work it out.”
That will not be easy. Mozgov will make $16 million this season and $16.7 million in 2019-20. As many as 16 NBA teams could face the luxury tax this summer and dumping a contract that large would, even in normal times, require sending out a spare draft pick, which of course the Nets don’t have. Mozgov’s contract was the price the Nets paid, along with Brook Lopez and the 27th pick in last year’s draft, to acquire D’Angelo Russell, who they saw then —and still see— as a foundation piece.
“After meeting with GM Sean [Marks] we discussed [the] summer of Timo, and Mozgov is still eager to prove he can play and contribute for Brooklyn,” Ryzhov added. “So will see how it develops.
“[The] only thing Mozgov has in mind right now is to keep his best physical shape of recent years — he definitely showed it during minutes he got at the final stretch of season — and bring it through national team, summer training to camp of Nets.”
Mozgov will play two games (and perhaps a “friendly” exhibition game) at the end of the month as Team Russia tries to qualify for a spot in the 2019 World Cup. He’s currently training in Russia.
The Nets have had no complaints about Mozgov’s professionalism either during the season or lately. He hosted 12 of his teammates at his home in Los Angeles early last month, a big part of the Nets post-season bonding experience in southern California.
If the Nets wanted to buy him out, now is the time to do it with the Draft and free agency looming. Normal buyouts are between 2/3rds and 3/4ers of a player’s salary. A deal like that could save the Nets $4 million and $5 million.
- Nets big man demands to know why he’s not being given chance - Brian Lewis - New York Post
- Timofey Mozgov dissatisfied with his role with the Nets - Eurohoops