The Denver Nuggets' strange offseason just continues to get more interesting.
As reported by Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski, Timofey Mozgov will be signing a three-year, $14 million contract to remain in the Mile High City rather than return to Russia. That's a lot of money to pay to a big man who probably won't spend all that much time on the court.
Maybe Wojnarowski meant to type "three-year, $4 million" and accidentally hit the "1" key. But I doubt it.
Kosta Koufos (rightly) played over Timofey Mozgov last year. So Denver traded Koufos, who makes $3M, to pay Mozgov nearly $5M?— Kevin Pelton (@kpelton) July 26, 2013
After Mozgov is officially on the roster, the Nuggets will boast the services of Mozgov, JaVale McGee, Kenneth Faried, Darrell Arthur, J.J. Hickson and Anthony Randolph. And that's assuming that second-round draft pick Joffrey Lauvergne stays overseas (a safe assumption, to be sure).
Where exactly are all the minutes going to go?
JaVale and Faried will start at center and power forward, respectively, but that still leaves four big men competing for backup minutes. Mozgov may well be the odd man out after averaging 2.6 points, 2.6 rebounds and 0.2 assists per game during his third NBA season.
The Russian 7-footer may be full of potential, but it's problematic that he hasn't gotten markedly better in those three years. Take a look at his per-36-minute stats, courtesy of Basketball-Reference:
He's gotten better as a rebounder, but Mozgov still hasn't given many signs that he needs to be given more playing time.
What grade would you give the Nuggets for their offseason adventures?
This was yet another strange move for a team that hasn't exactly enjoyed the most successful offseason. After general manager Masai Ujiri left for the Toronto Raptors and head coach—and Coach of the Year—George Karl was fired, free agents Andre Iguodala and Corey Brewer both left the team and signed elsewhere.
After a season of contending in the Western Conference before Danilo Gallinari tore his ACL, the Nuggets can kiss any semblance of championship dreams goodbye.
There haven't been many head-scratching moves during the 2013 offseason, as teams are showing an uncanny ability to evaluate players and exhibit restraint.
But this one would certainly qualify.