Plan was for Timofey Mozgov to start in debut with Cavaliers

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The Cavaliers traded for their long-sought-after defensive big man in Timofey Mozgov this week, and while the price of two first round picks may seem high on the surface, the reality is that Cleveland is in win-now mode, and has no use for undeveloped young talent as it intends to compete for championships in the coming seasons.

Mozgov filled such a great need for the Cavaliers that the organizational plan was to immediately insert him into the team’s starting lineup. But due to the timing of the trade being completed officially, Cleveland will bring him off the bench on Friday against the Warriors.

From Chris Haynes of Cleveland.com:

General Manager David Griffin says due to the timing of Mozgov’s completed checkup, their original plan of inserting him into the starting lineup tonight had to be shelved.

“Initially the plan was for Timofey to go through shootaround this morning, having already passed his physical, and then we would have placed him in the starting lineup tonight,” Griffin told NEOMG. “But we obviously were not able to get it done in time so this is the result.”

Thompson was informed a few days ago that Mozgov would get the nod tonight and we’re told he accepted coming off the bench again like a true professional.

Mozgov will be in uniform, and is officially listed as probable for Friday night’s contest. But the fact that he was about to become a member of the starting lineup shows just how desperate the Cavaliers were to add some legitimate frontcourt help.

We talked about the trades the Cavaliers made on this week’s podcast.