New York Knicks Free Agency: Timofey Mozgov Making Presence Felt At World Championships

For more on the Knicks, please visit Posting and Toasting.

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At World Championships, Timofey Mozgov Plays Well, But Can't Get Russia Past United States

New Knicks center Timofey Mozgov had his first chance to play against NBA-caliber competition yesterday when the Russian national team took on the United States in quarterfinal play at the FIBA World Championships, and by all accounts, he acquitted himself well enough. You can view the full box score here, but the essential tallies are 12 points, four rebounds, one blocked shot, and four fouls, with a tidy six-of-nine mark from the floor.

Chris Tomasson of NBA FanHouse is in Turkey to cover the tournament. He expands on Mozgov’s play here:

Well, Russia’s Timofey Mozgov sure looked [Wilt] Chamberlain-like in the first quarter Thursday against the Americans. The 7-foot-1 center shot 4 of 4 and scored nine points and the Russians were surprisingly tied 25-25 with Team USA in a FIBA World Championship quarterfinal at the Sinan Erdem Dome.

Seth Rosenthal of Posting and Toasting, SB Nation’s Knicks blog, also came away impressed. You can read his impressions here. He also posted this highlight film.

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Knicks Signee Timofey Mozgov Impresses At Worlds

Stateside, center Timofey Mozgov was an unknown commodity when the Knicks signed him to a four-year deal earlier this summer. But now, as a member of Russia’s national team at the FIBA World Championships, he’s making a name for himself. Marc Berman of the New York Post explains that New York brass is pleased with his play:

Knicks president Donnie Walsh said he is pleased with Mozgov’s performances in Istanbul, where he is averaging 12.5 points and 18 minutes a game.

“Mozgov has played very well so far,” Walsh told The Post. “He’s shown he is a great prospect for the Knicks and NBA. I have been very impressed by how hard he plays. He has given a good account of himself. We are glad to have him.”

Pete Thamel of the New York Times, meanwhile, spoke with David Blatt, the American-born coach of Russia’s national team, about Mozgov, in his profile of the 23-year-old big man:

“I think it’s going to be easier for him in the N.B.A. than in Europe,” Blatt said. “He’s not going to have to be a lead player, and they’ll probably put him in a small area of the game where he has to pick and cut or run the break hard, which he does extremely well.

“Still, it’s going to be a big adjustment for Timofey.”

We’ll soon know what to expect from Mozgov at the NBA level when the Knicks’ preseason schedule opens on October 3rd.

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Carmelo Anthony's Wedding Somehow Related to Knicks

And not just because New York Knicks fans gathered outside of it to boo LeBron James.

Chris Paul, who attended the wedding, purportedly toasted with Carmelo Anthony over the concept of forming a “Big

Three” in New York with Anthony and Amare Stoudemire, who was also at the wedding.

What’s the news value of this story? I’m not sure. But it’s clear that free agents will forever provide speculation about everything for the rest of time until they’re all playing for the same team.

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Bobcats Allow Felton To Leave

The Charlotte Bobcats showed little interest in keeping Raymond Felton, especially after the Knicks signed him to an offer sheet.

Felton had said repeatedly he wanted to remain a Bobcat. He has lived his whole life in the Carolinas, first growing up in Latta, S.C., then winning a national championship with North Carolina in 2005.

But the Bobcats showed little interest in retaining him once he became an unrestricted free agent July 1. Felton turned down a long-term deal last summer that would have paid him about $6 million a year. Then he performed poorly in a playoff sweep by the Orlando Magic, outplayed by Jameer Nelson.

“New York showed the interest,” Felton said in a television interview with Myrtle Beach-area WPDE. "For the fans of Charlotte, I would have loved to be there, loved to have an extended contract in that city.

“I love everything [Charlotte] did for me, supporting me individually and supporting the Bobcats. The city of Charlotte is great.”

The Bobcats might not consider this a loss. The Knicks, however, have to consider it a win. They absolutely had to have a competent point guard to get the ball to Amare Stoudemire.

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Knicks sign... Timofey Mozgov?

I consider myself to know way too much about basketball, but this is straight out of left field. And not Yankee Stadium’s left field, that porch is way too short.

Seth from Posting and Toasting had this to say:

Who?

Newsday’s Alan Hahn had this to say:

Not a clue.

But regardless, Timofey Mozgov out of Russia is the newest New York Knick.

Here’s what we know about Mozgov: He’s 23, he plays for Khimki in Russia, he’s 7-foot-1, and he’s apparently a fantastic defender, although that didn't stop him from going undrafted in 2008.

Perhaps the Knicks found a gem. Whether it’s a good call to sign such a gem to a three-year, $9.7 million contract in addition to a $500,000 buyout of his current European contract when nobody – even some draft experts – seem particularly high on the guy, is questionable. Furthermore, Knicks fans have had a tendency to be a little bit xenophobic when it comes to incoming players since the horrendous Frederic Weis draft pick. But if Danilo Gallinari’s path from overwhelmingly loud draft night booing to fan favorite has shown anything, its that New Yorkers will accept anybody if he can play.

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Felton Should Upgrade Knicks' Backcourt

The New York Knicks Friday neared an agreement with point guard Raymond Felton, who had played five years with Charlotte.

Felton’s contract is believed to be a three-year deal worth approximately $25 million, which doesn’t preclude the Knicks from pursuing Chris Paul or Tony Parker next summer. The Knicks were also considering Luke Ridnour, but felt that Felton was the better player to go along with Amar’e Stoudemire and Danilo Gallinari.

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David Lee Traded for Anthony Randolph, Kelenna Azubuike, and Ronny Turiaf

According to Chad Ford of ESPNDavid Lee has agreed to a six-year, $80 million contract with the Golden State Warriors

Luckily for the New York Knicks, it will be a sign-and-trade. According to Ford, the Knicks will receive Anthony Randolph, Kelenna Azubuike, and Ronny Turiaf.

Randolph, a freakish athlete at only 20 years old, has apparently been the apple of Donnie Walsh's eye for some time, and will make for a great front-court mate with Amare Stoudemire.

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