Russian Team Wooing Timofey Mozgov

July 7 2013 at 10:09am CDT By Chuck Myron

10:09am: Mozgov wants to continue playing in the NBA, his European agent, Stanislav Ryzhov, tells Championat (translation via Sportando). Ryzhov confirmed that the Russian club has made its offer.

8:43am: The Nuggets and center Timofey Mozgov have been in talks on a multiyear deal, and while no other NBA suitors appear to have emerged this week, Mozgov has drawn an overseas offer. Lokomotiv Kuban, a team in Mozgov's native Russia, has made a four-year offer to the 7'1" center, club president Andrey Vedischev confirms to the Russian news outlet Championat (translation via Sportando).

Locomotiv will step up to play in the Euroleague for the first time next season, as Sportando's Emiliano Carchia notes, so prying Mozgov away from the NBA would be a well-timed coup for the team. It could be an expensive proposition, since at worst Mozgov could sign his one-year, $3,925,536 qualifying offer from the Nuggets. I'd imagine he and the Nuggets are discussing a deal that includes more guaranteed money than that, though that's just my speculation. 

Mozgov is a restricted free agent and the Nuggets have his full Bird rights, so the Nuggets can match any offer he receives from another NBA team, but that privilege does not cover offers from outside the league. The Knicks, Wolves, Bobcats and Heat have all shown interest in Mozgov over the past few months, but none appear to have made an offer since free agency began a week ago.

The Nuggets figure to envision a larger role for the Justin Zanik client this season after trading Kosta Koufos on draft night. If Mozgov re-signs, he'd probably be the backup to JaVale McGeeZaza Pachulia's three-year, $16MM agreement with the Bucks last night may have set the price for a top-of-the-line backup center.

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