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Mozgov signs deal to return to Russia during lockout

Jul 21, 2011, 10:59 AM EDT

Boston Celtics v Denver Nuggets Getty Images

UPDATE 10:59 am: Timofey Mozgov has confirmed that he did sign with BC Khimki to play during the lockout, speaking with the official EuroLeague site.

“I am glad that everything turned out perfectly. I grew up as a player in Khimki and spent great days in here. I have a lot of friends in the team and the adaptation period to the team will not be a problem,” Mozgov said. “Khimki is my second home and we quickly reached an agreement. I hope I can help the team in the upcoming season.”

8:36 am: Just a day after his agent was shooting down rumors that Nuggets center Timofey Mozgov was headed to Russia, there are multiple reports from European sites that he inked a deal.

Both Sportando and Sports.ru say he will play for BC Khimki, the Russian club where he played for four years before coming to the NBA (links via Hoopshype). This would be a deal that lets him out when the NBA lockout ends.

Because Mozgov is under contract in the NBA, he will need a letter of clearance from FIBA to play for his Russian team. The international basketball oversight body has not said yet if they will grant those letters to players locked out of the NBA.

While we wonder how some NBA players would fit overseas, you don’t feel that way in this case. He knows what he is getting into. Also rumored to be playing for Khimki is Chris Quinn, the former Notre Dame guard who spent last season on the Spurs bench.

This has to make the Denver front office a little nervous. Their goal is to re-sign Nene and keep him as their center, however if the free agent moves on then Mozgov would play a huge role in the middle for the Nuggets. The risks of injury have to make the Nuggets front office nervous.

Mozgov played half a season for the Knicks before being traded to Denver in the Carmelo Anthony trade last season, which was his rookie year in the NBA.

  1. rushbacker - Jul 21, 2011 at 7:18 PM

    He’s a raw young player who needs to refine his game. The potential for injury is counterbalanced by the fact that he needs to play to improve. Speaking as a Nuggets fan, I’m glad he’s going to be getting minutes somewhere.

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