The Cleveland Cavaliers have picked up their team option on center Timofey Mozgov, according to multiple reports.
Mozgov, 28, will make $4.95 million in the final year of his contract with Cleveland, who acquired him mid-season in a series of trades that surrendered two first-round picks and also brought in J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert from the New York Knicks. He averaged 10.6 points and 6.9 rebounds in 46 regular-season games with the Cavs and 10.6 points and 7.3 rebounds in 20 playoff games, including a playoff career-high 28 in Game 4 of the Finals.
While the Cavs lock up the Russian center for one more season below market value, LeBron James, Tristan Thompson, Kevin Love, Smith and Shumpert will all be due for new contracts in the next two years. James, Love and Smith all have pending player options.
Windhorst reports James is expected to bypass his player options and become a free agent, though there has been no indication James plans to leave Cleveland after returning home last off-season. The team reportedly expected to issue qualifying offers to Thompson, Shumpert and Matthew Dellavedova in the next week.
Depending on how the moves shake out, Cleveland could have as many as 10 free agents when free agency opens on July 1.
- Jeremy Woo