Two days after losing free agent Andre Iguodala to the Golden State Warriors, the Denver Nuggets‘ front office now has another issue on their hands. The Nuggets’ 2013 NBA Free Agency has taken another turn — back-up center Timofey Mozgov has received a four-year contract offer from Russian team Lokomotiv Kuban, according to sportando.net.
While RealGM.com reported that the Nuggets have worked with Mozgov on a multi-year deal, the Nuggets haven’t released any more information on the new contract since July 2.
Mozgov would be the Nuggets’ third free agent to leave Denver this offseason. Corey Brewer is the only other free agent who hasn’t re-signed with the team or moved elsewhere. Brewer has seen interest from a handful of teams.
Lokomotiv Kuban, an expansion team to the Euroleague, would technically be Mozgov’s home team. This undoubtedly makes the offer much more lucrative. Andrey Vedischev, president of Lokomotiv Kuban, addressed his motives in signing Mozgov to Championat.
“We understand that the dream of every basketball athlete is to play in the NBA, especially when there is interest and an offer for you,” Vedischev said. “But we hope that [Timofey] Mozgov could sign our four-year offer with us. We are really hoping to have him in [sic] the roster with us next season for our first campaign in Euroleague. One of our goals is to bring back in the team players from the region of Krasnodar, and [Timofey] Mozgov is one of them.”
The Nuggets faced a similar situation in 2009 when Linas Kleiza signed with the Greek team Olympiacos B.C. Kleiza played in Europe for one year before signing a four-year $20 million with the Toronto Raptors.
Expect the Nuggets to match Lokomotiv Kuban’s offer to Mozgov in the coming days. The front office really wants to retain Mozgov, especially now that former starting C Kosta Koufos has moved to the Memphis Grizzlies. If Mozgov goes to Lokomotiv Kuban, the Nuggets will still retain his free agent rights if he wanted to come back to the NBA.