Mozgov, along with Jerian Grant, will be dealt to the Magic in a three-team trade that includes Bismack Biyombo going to the Hornets and Julyan Stone going to the Bulls, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reports.
With both Nikola Vucevic and Mo Bamba in Orlando, there was little reason for the Magic to hang onto Biyombo, who is set to earn $34 million over the next two seasons. Though Mozgov's deal isn't much friendlier, earning $32.7 million over two years, the Magic gain Jerian Grant in the deal. With Orlando's point guard rotation decimated following the trade of Elfrid Payton last season, Grant could be in the running for the starting job. For Mozgov, it's unlikely he plays a significant role.
The Nets agreed in principle Wednesday to a trade that will send Mozgov to the Hornets along with two future second-round picks and cash in exchange for Dwight Howard, league sources informed Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. The deal won't be finalized until July 6, when the new salary cap calendar begins, according to Bobby Marks of ESPN.com.
Howard averaged a double-double and blocked 1.6 shots per game while suiting up in 81 contests for the Hornets last season, so his departure leaves a major void in the low post. While Mozgov plays the same position, it's unlikely he'll factor in the team's rotation after lottery teams in the Nets and Lakers largely phased him out of their plans over the past season and a half. Instead, the deal is mostly about the financials, as the Hornets will shed Howard's one-year, $23.5 million deal in exchange for picking up the two years and $32.7 million remaining on Mozgov's contract. The Nets will apparently cover some portion of the money Mozgov is still owed since they're sending along cash in the trade, but the center's cap hit will count on the Hornets' books. The transaction may signal a full-on rebuild for the Hornets, who are also believed to be shopping franchise player Kemba Walker prior to Thursday's draft.
Mozgov was absent for the last 11 games but was finally able to crack the lineup Thursday while scoring his highest total since dropping seven points back on Dec. 27. In his eight NBA season, the Russia native is averaging 4.1 points and 3.0 rebounds in 29 games played.
Mozgov did not see the floor during Monday's 114-101 loss to the Clippers.
Mozgov has been a healthy scratch in all but two tilts since the turn of the new year, and he has only appeared in 26 games in 2017-18. With the Nets focused on developing young centers Jarrett Allen and Jahlil Okafor or playing small-ball with Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (groin) or Quincy Acy, Mozgov has subsequently been dropped from the team's regular rotation.
Mozgov will come off the bench for Tuesday's tilt with the Celtics, Brian Lewis of the New York Post reports.
The Nets will go with a smaller lineup to start Tuesday's contest against the red-hot Celtics, as Trevor Booker gets the start at center. Mozgov could see a decrease from his 15.7 minutes average this season given the move to the bench and the return of Jarrett Allen, who missed the last six games with a left foot strain.
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