In less than a month, Timofey Mozgov is unlikely to be with the Nuggets. Since the beginning of the year, calls from other NBA teams have come rolling in concerning a trade for Mozgov more than for any other player on the Denver roster, and for two reasons.

First, he's a serviceable center. When the Nuggets insisted that the New York Knicks include Mozgov in the blockbuster Carmelo Anthony trade, it was with the belief that Mozgov could grow into being an integral cog in the new direction of the franchise. And he showed flashes that he could be just that.

But the combination of the Nuggets acquiring center JaVale McGee late last season and Kosta Koufos' improved performance this season has made Mozgov the odd guy out among the Nuggets' big men, who include Kenneth Faried and Wilson Chandler playing power forward.

Second, Mozgov has an expiring contract, and that is gold in the NBA. He will be a restricted free agent at the end of the season, which is even better for a team that covets him because that team would have the option to match any offer sheet extended to him.

Mozgov sits and watches all of this, expressing a desire to stick around.

But he prioritizes playing time over staying in Denver.

"I want to play," he said Thursday.

Mozgov, who is making $3.1 million this season, is averaging 9.6 minutes per game and has played in only 24 of Denver's 44 games. He is averaging three rebounds and 2.6 points. He averaged 15.6 minutes last season.

"I want to stay," he said. "But more than I want to stay, I want to play."

The Miami Heat is among several teams believed to be interested in Mozgov.

"People ask me, but I don't know what to say to people because I don't know what is going on," Mozgov said. "You've got to understand, the (trade) deadline is coming soon. So people are going to be talking more and more. I don't really know what's going on. I just want to play."

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