Orlando Magic center Timofey Mozgov was caught out of sorts not once but twice during this offseason, first getting traded by the Brooklyn Nets for Dwight Howard at the end of June, then to the Magic at the start of July — a quick and unexpected chain of events.
“Both were quite unexpected,” said Mozgov, according to EuroHoops. “I took the first one quite calmly. I was told I was going to Charlotte when I was away with the [Russian] national team preparing for games against Belgium and France. We decided I play the two matches and go to the U.S. for a medical examination at once. According to NBA rules, a player has to be checked by the medics within 48 hours, but an agreement with FIBA helped me to serve the international duty.”
Mozgov had been with the Nets for one season, previously traded from the Los Angeles Lakers along with lefty point man D'Angelo Russell for franchise star Brook Lopez.
“The day after France game I flew to Charlotte, underwent medical examination and came back. But when I got up, my wife told me: we are going to Orlando now. I was surprised for sure,” said Mozgov. “A plane again? But I did not have to travel for the second time. Club’s general manager told me everything was fine. Why did the Charlotte Hornets trade me? This is hard to say; you cannot get inside the bosses’ minds. When I talked to them in the U.S., nothing hinted about a trade.”
Howard was just as surprised about the trade initially, also getting no indication from new president Mitch Kupchak, who seems to work in silence when it comes to offseason moves.
Had Mozgov been up to date with the Hornets' history of recent player movement, he would have known that Charlotte is hellbent on freeing up money to re-sign All-Star Kemba Walker and build a better team around him. Bloated contracts from 2016 have kept the team from making any substantial additions.
The NBA is a tough business, even for a 7-footer like Mozgov, who will play for his fifth team in the last five seasons.