Timofey Mozgov

Rosters Announced For Olympic Qualifying Tournaments

Four qualifying tournaments to determine the final four teams in the men’s basketball pool at the Tokyo Olympics are set to tip off on Tuesday. In advance of the Olympic qualifiers, the 24 teams involved have officially set their 12-man rosters, according to a press release from FIBA.

More than two dozen current NBA players are participating in the tournament, and 11 of the 24 teams competing for Olympic spots have at least one current NBA players on their respective rosters. Of those clubs, Team Canada has the biggest contingent of NBA players — eight of the 12 players on Nick Nurse‘s squad finished the season on an NBA roster. Turkey is next with four NBA players.

The four qualifying tournaments will take place in Serbia, Lithuania, Croatia, and Canada. Only the winner of each six-team group will advance to Tokyo. Those four winners will join Japan, Nigeria, Argentina, Iran, France, Spain, Australia, and the U.S. in the 12-team Olympic tournament.

The teams that move onto the Olympics may tweak their rosters for Tokyo, depending on the availability of certain players. For instance, if Greece were to win its qualifying tournament, perhaps Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo – who remains active in the playoffs for now – would make an effort to join the team in Tokyo next month.

Here are the NBA players on the OQT rosters:

Belgrade, Serbia

Kaunas, Lithuania

Split, Croatia

Victoria, Canada

There are also many former NBA players among the 24 rosters, including Mario Hezonja (Croatia), Milos Teodosic (Serbia), Jan Vesely (Czech Republic), Timofey Mozgov (Russia), and Anthony Bennett (Canada).

To view the full rosters, be sure to visit FIBA’s official site and click through to each team from there.

And-Ones: Nets Security, Zipser, Mannion, Mozgov, TBT

A Nets security official who made contact with Bucks forward P.J. Tucker during a Game 3 skirmish has been barred by the NBA from working any more games in Milwaukee for the rest of the series, according to Joe Vardon, Eric Nehm and Alex Schiffer of The Athletic. The official, Antjuan Lambert, also won’t be allowed at courtside during the games in Brooklyn.

Lambert is employed by the team, but he has also been working for Kevin Durant since the star forward signed with Brooklyn in 2019. When Durant had an altercation with Tucker in the third quarter of Game 3, Lambert intervened and bumped into Tucker.

“In the heat of the moment you know people are coming to de-escalate things and try to get things under control and not bump and escalate and have things become a problem than what we’re trying to address or de-escalate,” Milwaukee coach Mike Budenholzer said. “And, in the 24-48 hours since, if it’s a Nets security guy and he’s bumping our player and things like that, that doesn’t seem like that’s the protocol and what we’d expect from any type of security.”

Here are more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • Former Bulls forward Paul Zipser had to undergo emergency surgery for a brain hemorrhage this week, writes Emiliano Carchia of Sportando. Zipser is now playing for FC Bayern in Germany.
  • Warriors guard Nico Mannion will be part of the Italian team for the upcoming Olympic qualifying tournament in Belgrade, notes Ennio Terrasi Borghesan of Sportando. Duke prospect Paolo Banchero, who received an Italian passport several months ago, hasn’t made a final decision on whether he’ll join Mannion.
  • Former NBA center Timofey Mozgov is expected to represent Russia in its upcoming Olympic qualifying tournament, Borghesan adds in a separate piece. Injuries limited Mozgov to six games this season for his Khimki team, but he recently returned to action.
  • Veteran NBA big man Amir Johnson will participate in The Basketball Tournament this summer, tweets J.D. Shaw of Hoops Rumors. Also playing will be Bruno Caboclo, who appeared in six games for the Rockets this season (Twitter link).

And-Ones. P. Gasol, Mozgov, Crawford, Draft, More

A pair of longtime NBA big men returned to action in Europe this week after lengthy layoffs.

The most notable of the two, Pau Gasol, played for the first time in over two years on Friday, taking the court for Barcelona in EuroLeague play. He logged 13 minutes vs. Bayern Munich, recording nine points and four rebounds (AP story via ESPN).

Meanwhile, in Russia today, Khimki Moscow center Timofey Mozgov appeared on Monday in his first game in nearly three years, per Sportando. Mozgov was last on an NBA roster during the 2018/19 season, but he didn’t appear in a single game with Orlando that year due to knee issues.

Those issues persisted after Mozgov signed with Khimki in 2019, and the NBA even permitted the Magic to remove Mozgov’s cap hit from their books last season since his injury was viewed as potentially career-ending. His return today represents the culmination of a long, impressive comeback.

Here are a few more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • Veteran guard Jamal Crawford, who turned 41 in March, is staying ready in the hopes of receiving another NBA opportunity, he told Matthew Brooks and Alec Strum of NetsDaily. “We actually have talked to a couple of teams, so we’re seeing where it goes,” Crawford said when asked about the possibility of a 10-day deal. “We’ve had conversations, which is the good thing.”
  • Although there has long been an expectation that the NBA and NBPA will eventually agree to tweak the league’s one-and-done rule for the draft and let high school players enter again, there haven’t been any meaningful talks between the two sides on the subject for months, sources tell David Aldridge of The Athletic.
  • Using the Hornets’ success with their trio of LaMelo Ball, Devonte’ Graham, and Terry Rozier as a jumping-off point, Louis Zatzman of FiveThirtyEight explores whether lineups that feature three point guards might become more common among NBA teams.
  • During a recent appearance on Mike Krzyzewski‘s “Basketball and Beyond with Coach K’ show, NBA commissioner Adam Silver addressed the league’s complicated relationship with China. Kurt Helin of NBC Sports relays some of Silver’s key quotes.

And-Ones: Thompson, Mozgov, Stone, FIBA

Klay Thompson‘s max deal was, at best, a risky proposition for the Warriors even before he suffered an ACL tear, according to The Athletic’s John Hollinger. Thompson’s five-year deal has the potential to be the league’s most regrettable contract, according to Hollinger, who takes a look at the 10 worst current free agent deals. The multi-year contracts handed to Tobias Harris, D’Angelo Russell and Harrison Barnes also rank as poor values compared to the purchase price, in Hollinger’s estimation.

We have more from around the basketball world:

  • Former NBA center Timofey Mozgov has suffered another injury setback, according to Sportando’s Emiliano Carchia. Mozgov, currently signed by Russian team Khimki, will require another knee surgery and miss another 4-6 months of action. He did not play during the 2019/20 season due to knee issues. In November, the NBA permitted the Magic to remove Mozgov’s remaining cap hits from their books after determining that his health issues were likely career-ending.
  • Former NBA guard Julyan Stone has re-signed with Italy’s Reyer Venezia, Dario Skerletic of Sportando relays. Stone averaged 4.5 PPG, 5.5 RPG and 3.1 APG in EuroCup action. Stone played 70 NBA games, most recently for Charlotte (23 games) during the 2017/18 season.
  • The Board of FIBA Europe has officially cancelled the seasons of the FIBA Europe Cup, EuroLeague Women and EuroCup Women, according to Carchia. Play was halted in those leagues during March. The board also decided that FIBA EuroBasket qualifiers, scheduled for November, could be postponed until February, if necessary.

And-Ones: NCAA, Mozgov, Whitehead, Wroten

The NCAA’s Board of Governors announced today in a press release that it’s moving toward allowing student-athletes to receive compensation for third-party endorsements and promotions. According to the announcement, athletes would be allowed to identify themselves by sport and school, but conference and school logos and other trademarked items would remain prohibited.

The guidelines, which are expected to go into effect when the 2021/22 academic year begins, aren’t a direct response to the NBA recently ramping up its G League developmental program and substantially increasing the amount of money that top high school recruits can make by going the NBAGL route. After all, the NCAA’s new rules will apply to student-athletes across the board, not just basketball players.

Still, top basketball prospects figure to take these forthcoming changes into account as they consider whether to play college ball or take the G League path. The NCAA has historically issued strict penalties for student-athletes found to be accepting even modest benefits — today’s announcement signals that those restrictions are on the verge of loosening to some extent.

Here are more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • Former NBA center Timofey Mozgov, who signed with Russian team Khimki last summer, missed the entire 2019/20 season due to knee issues. However, the club’s sports director, Pavel Astakhov, told Mosregtoday.ru that Mozgov is expected to remain with the team next season and should be healthy enough to play, as Emiliano Carchia of Sportando relays. The NBA permitted the Magic to remove Mozgov’s remaining cap hits from their books after determining that his health issues were likely career-ending.
  • Isaiah Whitehead, a Nets guard from 2016-18, has signed a contract extension with BC Mornar Bar, according to agent Misko Raznatovic (Twitter link). The club, which Whitehead joined in January, is based in Montenegro.
  • Former NBA guard Tony Wroten and Joventut Badalona have reached an agreement to termine his contract, two months before it was set to expire, the Spanish team announced (via Twitter). It’s unclear what the next step will be for Wroten, who spoke recently about wanting to make it back to the NBA.

Mozgov’s Remaining Salary Removed From Magic’s Books

The league has granted the Magic’s career-ending injury/illness application and removed center Timofey Mozgov‘s $16.7MM salary from their books, Shams Charania of The Athletic tweets.

The decision significantly improves Orlando’s bottom line for this season and beyond.  The Magic drop from $2.3MM to $7.8MM below the luxury tax line and have a $10.7MM buffer below the hard cap, Bobby Marks of ESPN tweets.

The Magic filed the application last month.

Mozgov, who entered the 2019/20 league year on an expiring $16.72MM contract, was waived by Orlando during the offseason. However, because the last year of his deal was fully guaranteed, it remains on the Magic’s books, having been stretched across three seasons at an annual rate of approximately $5.57MM.

Those charges are now erased for all three seasons, as Josh Robbins of The Athletic points out (Twitter link). 

Mozgov, 33, was initially acquired by the Magic during the 2018 offseason in a salary-dump deal, but didn’t appear in a game for the team last season due to knee issues. He underwent an arthroscopic procedure in January.

If a player is diagnosed with an ailment believed to be career-ending, his team is eligible to apply for cap relief one year after he last appeared in a game. An independent physician or a Fitness to Play panel needed to rule it would be a medically unacceptable risk for Mozgov to return to action. The veteran center will still receive his remaining salary.

Magic Apply For Cap Relief For Mozgov Contract

The Magic have put in a request to the NBA applying to have Timofey Mozgov‘s dead money removed from their cap due to a career-ending injury/illness, according to Marc Stein of The New York Times (Twitter link).

Mozgov, who entered the 2019/20 league year on an expiring $16.72MM contract, was waived by Orlando during the offseason. However, because the last year of his deal was fully guaranteed, it remains on the Magic’s books, having been stretched across three seasons at an annual rate of approximately $5.57MM.

Mozgov, 33, was initially acquired by the Magic during the 2018 offseason in a salary-dump deal, but didn’t appear in a single game for the team last season due to knee issues. He underwent an arthroscopic procedure in January.

If a player is diagnosed with an ailment believed to be career-ending, his team is eligible to apply for cap relief one year after he last appeared in a game. In order for the Magic to receive cap relief, an independent physician or a Fitness to Play panel would have to rule it would be a medically unacceptable risk for Mozgov to return to action. The veteran center would still receive his remaining salary in that scenario.

Chris Bosh, Nikola Pekovic, Mirza Teletovic, and Omer Asik are some of the other players who have suffered career-ending injuries or illnesses and had their salaries removed from their teams’ caps in recent years.

Mozgov’s case looks a little more complicated though, since he signed with Russian team Khimki shortly after being waived by Orlando and is working to make his way back on the court. If it appears as though he’s on track to get healthy and play for Khimki, the Magic’s request is unlikely to be granted.

If the NBA does approve the request, the team would be able to remove Mozgov’s $5.57MM cap charge from its books for this season and the following two. That extra flexibility would be a big help this season, since the team is currently carrying just 13 players on standard contracts and is only $1.9MM below its hard cap, tweets ESPN’s Bobby Marks.

Timofey Mozgov Rejoins Russian Club Khimki

Veteran NBA center Timofey Mozgov is returning to his home country and rejoining his old Russian team after being released by the Magic earlier this month. Khimki made an announcement today officially confirming that the club has a one-year deal in place with Mozgov for the upcoming season.

Mozgov, 33, spent eight seasons in the NBA from 2010-18, appearing in 454 total regular season games for the Knicks, Nuggets, Cavaliers, Lakers, and Nets. During that time, he averaged 6.8 PPG and 4.9 RPG in 18.0 minutes per contest, winning a title with Cleveland in 2016.

Having been traded from Brooklyn to Charlotte to Orlando during the 2018 offseason, Mozgov was technically a member of the Magic during the 2018/19 season, but he didn’t appear in a single game for the club due to a right knee injury.

Orlando waived Mozgov in early July despite the fact that he still has one year and $16.7MM left on his contract — stretching his cap hit for ’19/20 allowed the team to remain under the luxury tax line.

For Mozgov, it will be his third stint with Khimki. He also played for the EuroLeague squad from 2006-10, then again in 2011 during the NBA lockout. The big man is the second player to move from an NBA team to Khimki so far this offseason — Dairis Bertans also lined up a deal with the club after being released by the Pelicans.

International Notes: Bertans, Mozgov, Mirotic, Motiejunas

Having being waived by the Pelicans on Sunday, Dairis Bertans didn’t waste much time in lining up a new home, with a report indicating that he had reached an agreement to sign with Russian club Khimki.

The Moscow Region-based team made it official earlier today, announcing (via Twitter) that Bertans is joining Khimki on a two-year deal. The veteran shooting guard technically hasn’t even cleared NBA waivers yet – that won’t happen until Tuesday – but presumably agent Arturs Kalnitis and Khimki management are both confident that no team will place a claim on Davis Bertans‘ older brother.

Here are a few more international notes related to NBA veterans:

  • Bertans isn’t the only player on NBA waivers receiving interest from Khimki. A source tells Emiliano Carchia of Sportando that the Russian club is also trying to bring center Timofey Mozgov back to his home country, and hopes to reach a deal in the near future. Artem Komarov (Twitter link) first reported the talks between Khimki and Mozgov, who was released by the Magic on Saturday.
  • Nikola Mirotic officially signed with Barcelona on Saturday, with the club issuing a press release to announce the deal. According to the team, Mirotic’s contract will span three years, with a fourth-year option for the 2022/23 season. The veteran power forward was expected to receive a three-year offer in the $45MM range from Utah, but opted to return to Spain instead.
  • After appearing briefly in three games for the Spurs down the stretch in 2018/19, power forward Donatas Motiejunas appears likely to head back overseas. According to Emiliano Carchia of Sportando, Motiejunas is receiving significant interest from the Shanghai Sharks of the Chinese Basketball Association. Motiejunas’ former CBA team in Shandong must decide by July 15 whether to make him a restricted free agent, as Carchia explains.

Magic Waive Center Timofey Mozgov

The Magic have waived center Timofey Mozgov, according to a tweet from the team’s PR department. Mozgov missed all of last season due to a knee injury.

Mozgov’s $16.72MM salary for next season is fully guaranteed and Orlando will use the stretch provision to avoid going over the luxury tax threshold, Josh Robbins of The Athletic tweets. His salary will be stretched at a cost of $5.57MM per year over the next three years. By stretching Mozgov’s contract, Orlando could potentially retain restricted free agent Khem Birch, Robbins adds (Twitter links). Orlando made Birch an RFA by extending a $1.82MM qualifying offer.

The Magic were $3MM over the luxury tax line and a projected $890K below the tax apron prior to waiving Mozgov, according to ESPN’s Bobby Marks. By stretching Mozgov, Orlando falls $8.2MM under the tax and $12MM under the apron, Marks adds.

Mozgov underwent right knee surgery in early January. The Magic acquired him last July as part of a three-way swap with the Bulls and Hornets.

Mozgov, 32, was one of the big winners during the free agent frenzy of 2016, as he signed a four-year, $64MM deal with the Lakers. Buyer’s remorse quickly set in as he only appeared in 54 games with Los Angeles before he was traded to Brooklyn. The Hornets acquired him last summer, then shipped him to Orlando.

Given his injury situation and lack of production in prior years, Mozgov made find it difficult landing another NBA job.