It may be a little early to look forward to the offseason, but the New York Knicks may be doing exactly that, as it looks as if they may make a former Knicks one of their top targets in next summer’s free agency.
According to the New York Post’s Marc Berman, the Knicks will be very interested in Denver Nuggets center Timofey Mozgov when he becomes a restricted free agent this summer. In addition, Berman noted that Mozgov really enjoyed his time in New York and would consider re-signing in the summer.
The Knicks also inquired about Mozgov at the trade deadline, as the 7’1″ center has fallen out of George Karl’s rotation, averaging fewer than 10 minutes per game on the season.
But while there is mutual interest, the Knicks don’t have much cap flexibility to improve a disappointing team next season.
The Knicks would love to re-sign Mozgov, but only have a $3.1M mini mid-level exception and may want to use it on a proven veteran. They also won’t be able to do a sign-and-trade this summer with any team under new CBA rules penalizing teams well over the luxury tax. The Knicks will be over $4 million over the tax line, so that will hamper anything they want to do this offseason.
As I illustrated in a previous article, general manager Glen Grunwald’s plan to load this team with veterans failed miserably and will hamper the Knicks for the next couple of seasons.
With that being said, several teams showed interest in Mozgov at the trade deadline and I would expect that to be the case with him as a free agent.
Mozgov is only a season removed from his career year in 2011-12, when he started 35 games and averaged 5.4 points, 4.1 rebounds and 1.0 block per game in 44 total contests.
If the Knicks did attempt to sign Mozgov, the Nuggets would have the right to match. That’s something they may do considering the Knicks would come in with a very low offer as they demanded a hefty haul for him at the trade deadline.
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