The Cleveland Cavaliers have acquired center Timofey Mozgov and a 2015 second round pick from the Denver Nuggets in exchange for two protected 2015 first round picks (via Oklahoma City and Memphis), Cavaliers General Manager David Griffin announced tonight.
According to Sports Illustrated, “if two future firsts seems a tall price to pay for a merely functional starting center, that’s because it is. Yet Cleveland maneuvered itself into position to make the most reasonable course correction it could. The Cavs have neither the trade chips nor the future flexibility to make a run at an upper-tier center, effectively locking them into a more limited range of potential upgrades at the position. Mozgov was one of the better options under the circumstances: tall, able to wall off the rim, effective on the glass, competent offensively, and under contract with a team option for next season at a relative bargain.”
This season, Mozgov has appeared in 35 games (all starts) for the Nuggets, averaging 8.5 points on .504 shooting, a career-best 7.8 rebounds and 1.2 blocks in 25.6 minutes per game. The 7-1 center from Russia also has nine double-doubles on the year.
Mozgov, who is in his fifth NBA season, has played in 247 career games (115 starts) with averages of 6.4 points on .513 shooting, a .738 mark from the foul line, 4.9 rebounds and 0.9 blocks in 17.2 minutes per game with New York and Denver. He also won a bronze medal at the 2012 London Olympics with the Russian National team that was coached by David Blatt.
Cleveland conveyed to Denver its right to Oklahoma City’s protected first round draft pick and its right to Memphis’ protected first round draft pick. The Cavs received Denver’s right to the less favorable of Chicago’s own 2015 second round draft pick and Portland’s own 2015 second round draft pick.