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Do svidanya, Timofey Mozgov

The Denver Nuggets' starting center takes a long trip to see a King.

Missing Mozzie Mightily
Missing Mozzie Mightily
Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

The owner of the Blackjack Pizza nearest the Pepsi Center is deeply upset.

Yesterday, your Denver Nuggets traded away Timofey Mozgov for two first-round draft picks from the Cleveland Cavaliers. Mozgov came to the Nuggets in the Carmelo Anthony trade, joining Danilo Gallinari, Wilson Chandler, and Raymond Felton as a part of a three-team, thirteen-player deal in 2011, but at the time was considered a "throw-in".

Mozzie certainly wasn't a throw-in by the time he departed. The deal is widely viewed as a net positive for Denver, and it's hard to disagree. But that throw-in just netted two first-rounders. That's some good ROI you built there, Timo. You had some stellar moments in Denver to make it happen. Even when the Cavs were inquiring about Mozzie pre-season, who knew a bumpy campaign and the recent emergence of Jusuf Nurkic would be the script for the Nuggets?

Though Mozgov plays on as the newest member of LeBron James' crew, he was with us for what, in retrospect, felt too short a time. A proper farewell/wake seemed in order, as whether you loved or hated his game, nearly everyone loved Mozgov the man.

Timofey Mozgov, Denver Nuggets center, was "born" on February 21st, 2011, as a part of a wild, tumultuous, and dramatic shift in the Nuggets roster surrounding one Melo-drama. Mozgov's fortunes and stats improved immediately upon his high-altitude arrival, as his shooting percentage went from .464 with the New York Knicks to totals of .524, .526, .506, .523, and .504 (his current percentage this year) with Denver. Last season with the Nuggets, he averaged 9.4 points and 21.6 minutes, while playing all 82 games of the campaign.

Timo has played admirably for his national team as well, being a key part of the 2012 Russian squad that captured the Olympic bronze medal. His move to Cleveland reunites him with his Olympic coach, David Blatt. Mozzie will yet again be counted on as a key cog amongst LBJ, Kevin Love, and Kyrie Irving, and asked to fill in the gap left by Anderson Varejao's season-ending achilles injury.

At his apex, Mozgov could be a terror, all 7'1" of him sprinting full court in Denver's high-speed game. His best statistical game came last April, a 23-point, 29-rebound dismantling of the Golden State Warriors frontcourt. Every point of his contribution was needed as the Nuggets narrowly won the contest, 100-99. At his worst, well... this is a "wake" and we do not speak ill of the departed.

Beyond his skills on the court, Mozgov was a gregarious and outgoing guy. Active in the community and popular amongst his teammates, Timofey seemed to be well-thought of by everyone around him. The well-wishes of his former Nuggets teammates, seemingly to a man, show the deep affection the team felt for him. By all reports, he and Danilo Gallinari were particularly close, and you could see that in some of the footage from the NBA's season-long coverage of one of their first seasons in Denver. Mozzie could be a lot of things...



Hungry on the court

Hungry off the court



Paying it back

A difficult-to-believe scorer. My favorite part of this graphic is anyone who doesn't know basketball well would assume the guy who made the subtitles had totally missed the important stat. "29 Rebounds? So What?!?!?! Was that NOT his career-high in points?"

But above all, kind

In many ways, it feels as if we were just getting to know you, Timofey Mozgov. For your time, heart, and efforts towards the successes of our beloved Denver Nuggets, we give you our gratitude. Here's hopes for your success in every endeavor that doesn't involve beating the Nuggets, and Godspeed.

Thanks, Timo. Until we meet again, or translated to your native tongue, Do svidanya.