DENVER – The Denver Nuggets will tender center Timofey Mozgov a $3.9 million qualifying offer by the June 30 deadline, making him a restricted free agent this offseason, a source close to the situation conveyed to CSNNW.com.
Denver will be in position to match any offer sheet signed by Mozgov in order to retain his services. The source said, “Mozgov is a priority and it will take a lot [for Denver] not to match.”
This news comes somewhat as a surprise as it was believed the Nuggets might be willing to let Mozgov walk, being that he is the third center behind Kosta Koufos and JaVale McGee, and both have guaranteed contracts for the 2013-14 season.
The 7-1, 250 pound Mozgov simply hasn't been able to crack George Karl's rotation. He hasn't played 10 or more minutes in a contest since Feb. 12.
For teams who are in desperate need of a big man such as Mozgov, who takes pride in protecting the paint, this could put a wrinkle in their plans if they had interest in pursuing the big man as an unrestricted free agent.
Mozgov, 26, in his three-year NBA career, per 36 minutes, averages 2.0 blocks a game, and there is no stat kept on how many times he has sent a player crashing to the floor with a hard, non-malicious foul.
“I'm a really good defensive player,” Mozgov said. “In my situation right now, sometimes I don't get a lot of time to play. So if I get 10 minutes and I got my six fouls, I gotta use it. I don't want anybody to score. When I start playing 30 minutes, I'll change it up. But right now, If I play only five minutes, I should use all my fouls.”
Sounds exactly like the type of enforcer the Portland Trail Blazers need on their roster.
A little nugget, no pun intended: Mozgov had been represented by Bouna Ndiaye, Nicolas Batum's agent. The two parted ways in January and he has since signed with Justin Zanik of ASM Sports.