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Agent: Nets told him Timofey Mozgov needed rest

Brooklyn Nets v Phoenix Suns Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

In an interview with a big Russian sport site, the agent for Timofey Mozgov says the Nets are resting the big man, that after the FIBA European championships this summer, he needed both time off and conditioning.

The St. Petersburg-based Maxim Sharifyanov told R-Sport that the Nets informed him they have given Mozgov a breather to get some rest and improve his conditioning. Mozgov hasn’t played in the last three games and logged only six minutes vs. Boston.

The agent acknowledged to R-Sport that Mozgov wasn't at his best after playing in the Eurobasket. The seven-footer played 20 games — 11 “friendlies” and nine championship games— this summer between July, shortly after he was traded to Brooklyn, and September, when Team Russia finished play in the European championships.

In a Media Day interview after arriving in Brooklyn, Mozgov told another reporter that the transition was tough. In addition, he had to arrange to move his family from Los Angeles to Brooklyn. Mozgov has also said the Nets encouraged him to play in Eurobasket. Mozgov is owed $48 million over the next three years.

Sharifyanov told R-Sport that he thought Mozgov is feeling well and noted that just before he was rested, he had played his best game vs. Portland. In that game, a win, he scored nine points and grabbed five boards in 18 minutes. The Nets of course play the Blazers again Sunday afternoon.

The agent said he feels the team's position doesn't make a lot of sense. They don't need to tank this year and they don't need to win now either, which means there's zero playoff goals, so why keep Mozgov out?

Of course, with Jarrett Allen’s recent return to health and Tyler Zeller’s better play, there are fewer minutes for the 31-year-old Mozgov. In addition, Kenny Atkinson likes to play small with Trevor Booker playing the 5.

Sharifyanov thinks things will be resolved soon, that the Nets will make adjustments.

Atkinson was unwilling to say Mozgov was fatigued.

“I really don’t want to comment on what Timmy’s agent would say,” Atkinson told Brian Lewis. “I think right now it’s more we’re trying different guys in the rotation. That’s about it”Atkinson said. “We’re trying a lot of different bigs in the rotation. It’s more that.

“I watched the Portland game. He was pretty darn good for us. He protected the rim, he rebounded; so by no means is he out of the rotation forever. … I just think we’re trying different guys. Zeller played well, obviously Jarrett played well the other night. So it’s just trying to figure out what the best rotations are for our team.”