Timofey Pavlovich Mozgov (born July 16, 1986) is a Russian professional basketball player for Khimki of the VTB United League and the EuroLeague.
Mozgov won an NBA championship with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2016, becoming one of the first Russians to do so, alongside Sasha Kaun. As a member of the Russian national team, he won the bronze medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics, as well as a bronze medal at EuroBasket 2011.
Mozgov began his professional career with LenVo St. Petersburg, in the Russian second tier division, during the 2004–05 season. In 2006, he moved to CSK VVS Samara 2, the second level club from Samara. Before the 2006–07 season, he joined Khimki Moscow Region, where he played through the 2009–10 season.
New York Knicks (2010–2011)
Mozgov as a member of the Knicks
In 2010, Mozgov signed a three-year, $9.7 million contract with the New York Knicks.
On January 30, 2011, after a three-week stint on the bench, Mozgov finally saw significant minutes against the Detroit Pistons. He had a career game scoring 23 points and grabbing 14 rebounds to lead New York to a 124–106 victory. He played 40 minutes and was treated to loud “Mozgov! Mozgov!” chants in the final minute.
Denver Nuggets (2011–2015)
Mozgov in a game as a member of the Denver Nuggets
On February 22, 2011, Mozgov was traded to the Nuggets in a three-way blockbuster deal, which also involved the Minnesota Timberwolves that brought Carmelo Anthony to New York.
On July 21, 2011, he joined Khimki Moscow Region for the second time during the 2011 NBA lockout.
On July 27, 2013, Mozgov re-signed with the Nuggets.
On April 10, 2014, he recorded career highs in points and rebounds with 23 and 29 respectively in a 100–99 win over the Golden State Warriors.
Cleveland Cavaliers (2015–2016)
On January 7, 2015, Mozgov was traded, along with a 2015 second-round pick, to the Cleveland Cavaliers in exchange for two protected 2015 first-round picks (via Oklahoma City and Memphis). Having always previously worn number 25, he was forced to change that upon joining the Cavaliers due to the franchise having the number retired for Mark Price. He instead chose number 20 as it was the number his father, a Soviet handball player, used while he played the sport. On January 9, he made his debut for the Cavaliers, recording nine points and eight rebounds off the bench in a 112–94 loss to the Golden State Warriors.
On June 4, 2015, he became the first Russian to play in the NBA Finals, as the Cavaliers lost Game 1 of the series to the Golden State Warriors. The Cavaliers went on to lose the series in six games, as Mozgov played in and started all six games.
On June 23, 2015, the Cavaliers exercised the option on Mozgov's contract for the 2015–16 season. Mozgov played a reduced role throughout the season, as the Cavaliers made it to the 2016 NBA Finals. Despite the Cavaliers going down 3–1 in the series following a Game 4 loss, they went on to win the series in seven games to become the first team in NBA history to win the championship after being down 3–1. The Cavaliers defeated the defending champion Golden State Warriors in a rematch of the previous Finals. Mozgov and teammate, Sasha Kaun, became the first Russians to win an NBA championship.
Los Angeles Lakers (2016–2017)
On July 8, 2016, Mozgov signed a four-year, $64 million contract with the Los Angeles Lakers. He made his debut for the Lakers in their season opener on October 26, 2016, recording 12 points and eight rebounds in a 120–114 win over the Houston Rockets. On March 14, 2017, the Lakers shut down a healthy Mozgov for the rest of the season to give the majority of playing time over the final 15 games to the team's younger players.
Brooklyn Nets (2017–present)
On June 22, 2017, Mozgov was traded, along with D'Angelo Russell, to the Brooklyn Nets in exchange for Brook Lopez and the rights to Kyle Kuzma, the 27th pick in the 2017 NBA draft.