The Cleveland Cavaliers have made another move to improve their roster. They acquired Denver Nuggets center Timofey Mozgov for two first-round picks. Cleveland would be trading the Oklahoma City Thunder pick they just acquired in the Dion Waiters trade and the Memphis Grizzlies’ protected first-rounder this season.
Denver makes this trade because they will have a hard time winning 50 games this season to make the playoffs in the Western Conference. The Nuggets also have a bunch of big men including Darrell Arthur, Kenneth Faried, JaVale McGee and rookie Jusuf Nurkic.
Jusuf Nurkic has averaged 11 ppg, 7 rpg and 2.8 in his last five games. This move allows him to play more.
With two moves the Cavaliers have improved their bench scoring, exterior defense and interior defense. The Cavs needed a rim protector before the season started and they desperately needed a big man since Anderson Varejao went down for the season.
Kevin Love gets to play alongside a big physical defensive minded center. In Minnesota he played next to Nikola Pekovic who was physical but not great on defense. This move helps Love on the defensive side of the floor.
David Blatt has a positive relationship with Mozgov after coaching him on the Russian National team. Blatt actually gets a player he has coached before and Mozgov will work hard for Blatt.
The best part of the deal for the Cavaliers is they didn’t have to trade Brendan Haywood for Mozgov. The Cavs can still move Haywood in another deal. Haywood’s contract becomes a non-guaranteed $10.5 million next season which can be wiped off new team’s books if waived before Aug 1.
The Cleveland Cavaliers can still make another move to improve their chances in the Eastern Conference. They have improved in just two days. They still need to move that Haywood contract to continue to contend in the East.