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Denver Nuggets trade rumors: Minnesota Timberwolves offer Brandon Roy, first-round pick for Timofey Mozgov

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The Nuggets don't often appear in trade rumors, so when they do we must cherish that nugget. Or we can curse the rumor too ...

A rare sighting of Brandon Roy on the court.
A rare sighting of Brandon Roy on the court.
USA TODAY Images

The Denver Nuggets have turned down a trade offer from the Minnesota Timerwolves. Wolves general manager David Kahn was apparently offering Brandon Roy's contract and a first-round pick for Timofey Mozgov , per Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports.

The Minnesota Timberwolves were turned down on an offer of Brandon Roy and a first-round pick to Denver for center Timofey Mozgov, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.

Denver is combing the market further for offers on Mozgov. He will be a restricted free agent this summer, and the emergence of Kosta Koufos could make it hard for Denver to match an offer sheet for Mozgov.

The Timberwolves are trying to include Roy's contract into offers, selling the non-guaranteed value of his 2013-14 year as an appealing factor. Roy is rehabilitating his knees, and neither the Wolves, nor Roy, truly expect he'll be able to play again in the NBA, sources said.

The Timberwolves own two first-round picks for the 2013 NBA draft and it's believed Minnesota was willing to part with the pick they own via the Grizzlies -- which would be a late-round pick, per Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p>@<a href="https://twitter.com/thesportsminn">thesportsminn</a> Wolves will have two picks this June assuming they miss the playoffs and Memphis makes it. They're offering the Mem. pick.</p>&mdash; Darren Wolfson (@DarrenWolfson) <a href="https://twitter.com/DarrenWolfson/status/304070079790854144">February 20, 2013</a></blockquote>

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p>@<a href="https://twitter.com/mike_e_nelson">mike_e_nelson</a> The Memphis pick will be 24 or lower, so not real valuable. Mozgov is a RFA. Could re-sign him and let Greg S. go.</p>&mdash; Darren Wolfson (@DarrenWolfson) <a href="https://twitter.com/DarrenWolfson/status/304071018585141248">February 20, 2013</a></blockquote>

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p>To all those saying horrible deal: checked with two league people just now via text. They both say Denver can do a lot better for Mozgov.</p>&mdash; Darren Wolfson (@DarrenWolfson) <a href="https://twitter.com/DarrenWolfson/status/304072414315298816">February 20, 2013</a></blockquote>

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p>He's on their radar when a FA, I'm told. RT @<a href="https://twitter.com/jaydillard81">jaydillard81</a>: @<a href="https://twitter.com/darrenwolfson">darrenwolfson</a> Mozgov would have been awesome. Hope we can pick him up sometime.</p>&mdash; Darren Wolfson (@DarrenWolfson) <a href="https://twitter.com/DarrenWolfson/status/304098258161123328">February 20, 2013</a></blockquote>

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p>@<a href="https://twitter.com/derekjamesnba">derekjamesnba</a> Told a trade as of late tonight is unlikely. But that's not from a lack of effort on their end. They'll keep trying tomorrow.</p>&mdash; Darren Wolfson (@DarrenWolfson) <a href="https://twitter.com/DarrenWolfson/status/304117699573862401">February 20, 2013</a></blockquote>

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Some interesting tweets there. Wolfson saying that the Timberwolves will try to sign Mozgov in the offseason if they can't get him now and he also says that the Wolves will keep pushing for Moz -- at least today Feb. 20th and likely tomorrow too on the 21st. The Memphis pick would likely be 24th or lower and that is not high value in a weak draft and Ujiri may not want to give up more money to a rookie (guaranteed contract). Sure, the Nuggets could move that pick again, but that's a lot of work for no real reason.

Roy signed a two-year deal with the Wolves in the offseason for $10.4 million and is making $5.1 million this season and is set to make $5.3 million for the 2012-13 season. But as Woj points out, Roy's deal might become non-guaranteed as Story Tellers Contracts indicates:

2013-14 is currently guaranteed but might become non-guaranteed if certain health issues arise

Roy's story is a tragic one, but when he entered the NBA in 2006 teams were aware of his knee issues and the Blazers took a chance on him anyway (swapping Randy Foye for Roy with Minnesota). Roy averaged a career high 22.6 points in 2008-09 while appearing in 78 games.

Roy sat out the 2011-12 season after appearing in just 47 games the previous season. The Blazers used their amnesty clause to get out from under Roy's contract and the team paid him $63 million to walk away. Roy wound up retiring, but was trying to make a comeback with the Wolves after undergoing platelet-rich plasma procedure on his knees -- the same procedure used by Kobe Bryant -- but he only appeared in five games before getting re-injured.

As Woj points out, Roy may once again be at the end of the road. He tried to come back in late December, but had yet another setback to his knees.

What Roy would mean to the Nuggets:

If Denver were to make the deal, it likely would not be as an option for Roy to play, but rather in the hopes that the Nuggets could get out from under the $5.3 million owed to Roy after the season. The Wolves are trying to work on a buyout with Roy and the Nuggets might be able to do the same, but it's not very appealing to add a player who cannot play.

Will Mozgov be moved?

We tend to see trade rumors and think that means it's inevitable that Player X will soon be traded. Mozgov has value in the league and to the Nuggets. The Timberwolves draft pick is enticing, but we don't know the details on what the lottery protections to the pick could be and so forth.

It is still a possibility that the Nuggets and Wolves could work out a deal with a different player than Roy and the draft pick or it could still be possible that the Nuggets take this deal. There are no issues with the Nuggets wanting to play the waiting game. Why not see if the pot sweetens as the deadline approaches (Feb. 21st).

Mozgov is a capable NBA player and a great insurance policy in case JaVale McGee or Kosta Koufos get injured. Anthony Randolph is also an insurance policy and is signed for the next two seasons at $1.7 and $1.8 million and his presence could get Masai Ujiri to make a move that would benefit Moz. The Russian center wants an opportunity to get on the floor and it's likely in his best interest to go someplace else.

The luxury to having both Moz and Randolph is that if they were to be pressed into action -- neither guy has proven to be reliable night in and night out -- George Karl could go with the hot hand instead of the only option. Also, Moz is a massive man and a physical player. Randolph is more of a power forward or even a small forward, but he is a long guy and has had some steaks of physical play -- but Randolph often plays a finesse game.

Don't blink for the next couple days ... you might miss what the Nuggets will be up to.

***

A little nugget came out during the Celtics vs. Nuggets game as Chris Tomasson tweeted out the following:

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p>Sources say Nuggets turned down a trade offer earlier this season of Danilo Gallinari for Rudy Gay. Gallinari making them look smart tonite</p>&mdash; Chris Tomasson (@christomasson) <a href="https://twitter.com/christomasson/status/304073004495798272">February 20, 2013</a></blockquote>

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The item of interest from that tweet is that the deal as a one-for-one cannot be done as the salaries do not match closely enough. Gay makes $16.4 million this season to Gallo's $9.4 million -- so somebody else from the Nuggets had to be in that offer ...

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