Last week, there were rumors that the Miami Heat were interested in acquiring Denver’s third center Timofey Mozgov to help with their lack of a big man in South Florida. The Heat did acquire a Nuggets player, well a former one, when they signed Chris “Birdman” Andersen to a 10-day contract over the weekend.
With a logjam at center for the Nuggets with Kosta Koufos and Javale McGee getting the majority of the playing time, Mozgov is the odd man out. Now that the heat have appear to have no use for Mozgov, should the Nuggets attempt to trade him to the Celtics?
The Nuggets are interested in trading Mozgov and he is a free agent at the end of the season. The Celtics have the undersized Jared Sullinger, the very raw Fab Melo, the “he’s still in the league?” Chris Wilcox and the human statue Jason Collins. The Celtics need the help and Mozgov’s contract is favorable at $3.1 in the final year of his deal. The Celtics would be able to re-sign Mozgov for a fairly cheap price come the offseason.
Mozgov can produce, there is no secret about that. At 7-foot, 1-inch, Mozgov showed that he can produce when given the chance. Look back at his time with the New York Knicks and how he produced in the Olympics over the summer. With the Nuggets having both Andre Iguodala and Corey Brewer on tap to re-sign at the end of the season, re-signing Mozgov isn’t going to happen.
So what can the Nuggets expect to get from the Celtics? Using ESPN’s trade machine, I tried different scenarios to see what would work. My initial thoughts were the Celtics would get Mozgov for Leandro Barbosa, Fab Melo and a first round pick. You have to give something to get something. The money however, didn’t fall into place.
I looked then to include Brandon Bass instead of Melo for Mozgov. Yes Bass looks decent due to Rajon Rondo creating open shots for him, but the Nuggets don’t have a backup at power forward. This time, Bass’ $6 million contract created issues.
Finally, a deal that worked:
Celtics receive – Timofey Mozgov
Nuggets receive – Leandro Barbosa, Fab Melo and the expiring contract of Jason Collins.
No first round pick and probably not a second round pick, but the deal could work. Melo, who has yet to touch the floor for the Celtics, will take time to develop, but is worth the time for a guy who will be leaving Denver at the end of the season anyway. Collins won’t see the floor for the Nuggets and Barbosa would provide more depth to the Nuggets bench which has seen it’s production drop from a year ago.
Not saying the Celtics will accept the deal, but with their window closing and their recent skid, it makes sense to offer it.