The New York Knicks, in need of a center, turned their attention to little known Russian Timofey Mozgov (above), who they have signed to a three year contract worth almost $ 10 M.  Mozgov, is 24 years old and is 7’1.  His agent describes him as a “late bloomer” and as “the best free agent outside the NBA.”  If that were really the case, Mozgov would demand more than the $ 32 M Josh Childress is signing for with the Phoenix Suns, who played last season in Greece.

http://www.azcentral.com/sports/suns/articles/2010/07/11/20100711phoenix-suns-acquire-hedo-turkoglu-josh-childress.html

Here are some recent stats on Mozgov:

Season: 2009-2010 (Russia)

Summary
Team G MIN PTS 2FGP 3FGP FT RO RD RT AS PF BS ST TO
BC Khimky Moscow Region 32 579 241 81-145 0-1 79-110 60 94 154 8 86 32 15 0
AVERAGE
BC Khimky Moscow Region 32 18.1 7.5 55.9% 0.0% 71.8% 1.9 2.9 4.8 0.3 2.7 1.0 0.5 0.0

 

Season: 2009-2010 (VTB United League)

Summary
Team G MIN PTS 2FGP 3FGP FT RO RD RT AS PF BS ST TO
BC Khimky Moscow Region 8 163 87 33-52 0-0 21-35 19 25 44 2 13 4 7 8
AVERAGE
BC Khimky Moscow Region 8 20.4 10.9 63.5% 0.0% 60.0% 2.4 3.1 5.5 0.3 1.6 0.5 0.9 1.0

 

Season: 2009-2010 (Euroleague)

Summary
Team G MIN PTS 2FGP 3FGP FT RO RD RT AS PF BS ST TO
BC Khimky Moscow Region 16 209 96 39-77 0-0 18-29 25 40 65 2 50 15 5 0
AVERAGE
BC Khimky Moscow Region 16 13.1 6.0 50.6% 0.0% 62.1% 1.6 2.5 4.1 0.1 3.1 0.9 0.3 0.0

The Knicks are nearing an agreement with him in a deal stealthily navigated to the dismay of several N.B.A. teams. Few were aware that Mozgov would be willing or able to step out of his contract with Russia’s B.C. Khimki.

“No, I didn’t talk to him,” Mozgov’s agent, Bouna Ndiaye, said when asked if Prokhorov had tried to land Mozgov for the Nets. “I really focused on the Knicks. And I did not focus on the Nets because the Nets would take longer to rebuild. I liked Mike D’Antoni’s system better than the Nets.”

Mozgov played limited minutes with Khimki last season, but gained attention during last summer’s European championship when he averaged 11 points and 4.6 rebounds.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/12/sports/basketball/12knicks.html

It’s a bit disturbing that Mozgov didn’t have what it took to start on his European team, and it strikes us a very generous contract for an unknown quantity, but it happens all the time with centers.  While some have described Mozgov as a banger with bad hands who can finish around the basket, it is a red flag to us that nobody else was trying to sign him in a league that scours the ends of the Earth for talent.

It wouldn’t surprise me if Mozgov remains planted to the bench as a Knick and is used as trade bait when he is eligible to be traded in 3 months.

In other Knicks’ news, reports surfaced over the weekend that the Knicks are trying to trade to G/F Wilson Chandler who averaged over 17 points a game, for a more traditional shooting guard.  On Friday, the Knicks reached a 2 year, $15.8 M deal with starting point guard Raymond Felton.

http://blogs.bettor.com/Knicks-To-Sign-Russian-Giant,-Explore-Trade-Possibilities-For-Wilson-Chandler-a16089

http://www.rotoworld.com/content/playerpages/playerbreakingnews.asp?sport=NBA&id=1403&line=137723&spln=1

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/07/10/knicks-sign-point-guard-raymond-felton/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/04/17/david-lee-thanks-for-the-memories/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/07/04/knicks-rumors/

–Crack (https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com)