Known for being a solid bench option at best, Timofey Mozgov has actually been extremely influential on the current state of more than a third of NBA rosters.
After signing a massive contract with the Los Angeles Lakers, he was a fill-in to trade D’Angelo Russell for the rights to Kyle Kuzma’s draft pick.
This is where two different trade paths diverge. One of these routes caused major shakeups for the league, and the other route was just salary dumps.
Starting with the salary dump route, Mozgov was traded to the Charlotte Hornets, and then to the Magic, where he was eventually waived after suffering a career-ending injury.
Everybody who was traded in this route played little to no role on the team they were traded to. The one exception is Hamidou Diallo, who is a decent bench piece, however, he is injury prone.
The other route starts with the deal that sent D’Angelo Russell for Kevin Durant in the 2019 offseason. Yes, Timofey Mozgov is indirectly responsible for Kevin Durant playing for the Brooklyn Nets.
Assuming that Kevin Durant is able to make a good recovery from his Achilles injury, this sets up a Brooklyn Nets team that looks primed to make a run at a championship in the near future.
This led to the eventual trade that sent Russell to the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Going back to the Kevin Durant trade, there is more to the return for Golden State. One of the pieces, Shabazz Napier was flipped to the Minnesota Timberwolves.
He was then part of the 4-team trade that involved the Timberwolves, Rockets, Hawks, and Nuggets. This landed the Rockets with Robert Covington, a perfect player for the “Moreyball” system.
The Timberwolves got Malik Beasley, who looks like a good third option along with a few other pieces, the Hawks got Clint Capela, and the Nuggets didn’t get much.
So, Timofey Mozgov receiving a large contract in part has shaped the NBA into what it is today.
Below you can find all of the players that have been impacted by the original Mozgov trade to Brooklyn and their current teams.
The trade as it stands today (Not including future picks):
Los Angeles Lakers: Kyle Kuzma
Brooklyn Nets: Kevin Durant
Golden State Warriors: Andrew Wiggins
Minnesota Timberwolves: D’Angelo Russell, Jacob Evans III, Omari Spellman, Evan Turner, Malik Beasley, Juan Hernangomez, Jarred Vanderbilt
Denver Nuggets: Keita Bates-Diop, Noah Vonleh
Atlanta Hawks: Jeff Teague, Clint Capela
Houston Rockets: Robert Covington, Jordan Bell, Bruno Caboclo
Washington Wizards: Shabazz Napier
Detroit Pistons: Jordan McRae (Claimed on waivers from Denver)
Oklahoma City Thunder: Hamidou Diallo
Charlotte Hornets: Jalen McDaniels, Bismack Biyombo, Cody Martin
Photo Credit: Thearon W. Henderson / Getty Images