1:00pm: The move is indeed official, the team confirmed.
9:59am: The Cavs have picked up their $4.95MM team option on Timofey Mozgov, reports Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders (Twitter link). The team has yet to make an official announcement, but it would appear that the move has indeed taken place. It’s largely an academic transaction, since it would have been shocking if Cleveland had turned down a relatively inexpensive option on the starting center whose acquisition helped turn the team’s season around this year.
Mozgov came from Denver via trade on January 7th in a move that involved two first-round picks heading to the Nuggets. Cavs GM David Griffin and his staff had long coveted the 7’1″ native of Russia, and when the Cavs rebounded from a 19-20 start to reach the Finals with Mozgov locking down the interior on defense, it validated the team’s pursuit.
Cleveland has only slightly more than $31MM in guaranteed salary after picking up Mozgov’s option, though that number doesn’t include a slew of marquee free agents, including LeBron James and Kevin Love. The Cavs appear intent on retaining much of their team and have reportedly had internal discussions about a shelling out a payroll between $100-$110MM plus some $75MM in taxes next season.