Keeper Watch: Timofey Mozgov
In the NBA's public consciousness, Mozgov is of course best remembered for nearly killing Ralph Lawler, and beyond that as a throw in to the Carmelo Anthony trade or maybe even as the floppy haired galoot who was the latest overhyped Knicks prospect.
But he's much more than an afterthought now. Or at least he should be.
In addition to his interior presence, Mozgov is an excellent defender of the Pick-and-Roll, currently ranked 5th among all players in terms of guarding the roll man, per Synergy sports. Despite his size he is nimble enough to hedge over high screens, and is equally adept at dropping below the foul line to contain drivers which he can deter with his shot blocking presence.
Moving beyond individual stats, Denver performs nearly 14 pts/100 possessions better defensively with Mozgov on the floor rather than off, and though they perform slightly worse offensively, the team goes from a 3/100 deficit with him off to a 6/100 advantage with Mozgov on the floor. Of course on/off numbers are notoriously messy, and Mozgov assuredly benefits from playing more against second units, but the comparison with Hickson is pretty stark - Denver has performed a net 16/100 better with Moz on and Hickson off the floor than the reverse. Extrapolated over a full game, that's roughly the difference in performance so far this season between Indiana and Brooklyn!
Regardless, it seems likely Mozgov will be a productive player somewhere for the next several seasons, and could even break out if given a larger role, much as the very comparable Robin Lopez (an extremely good rim protector who is surprisingly decent on offense especially in the PnR) has done the last two years.