In pursuit of a center to stabilize their roster, the Cleveland Cavaliers have acquired Denver Nuggets center Timofey Mozgov for two future first-round picks, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
The Cavaliers will send the Nuggets two picks they control via the Memphis Grizzlies and Oklahoma City Thunder, a league source told Yahoo. The Nuggets will give the Cavs a 2015 second-round pick. Mozgov is the only player in the trade.
The Memphis first-round pick is largely unprotected in 2017 (top five), and could become a late lottery pick in 2016 if the Grizzlies dramatically fall off.
The protections on the pick from Memphis: Nos. 1-5 and 15-30 in 2015; 1-5 and 15-30 in '16; 1-5 in '17 and 1-5 in 2018; unprotected in 2019. The protections on the OKC pick: Nos. 1-18 in 2015; 1-15 in '16; 1-15 in 2017. After 2017, it becomes two seconds.
Cleveland has been purusing Mozgov aggressively for months, determined to reunite him with Cavaliers coach David Blatt. Mozgov played for Blatt on the Russian national team.
Once Cleveland obtained Oklahoma City's first-round pick in the recent three-way deal with New York, the Cavaliers sweetened the offer for Mogzov to two first-round picks and that moved Denver to agree to a deal.
The Cavaliers lost center Anderson Varejao to a season-ending injury, and had struggled to stop teams near the rim.
Mozgov, 28, is averaging 8.5 points, 7.8 rebounds and 1.2 blocks this season. For his career, he's averaged 6.4 points and 4.9 rebounds.
The Cavaliers paid a steep price for him, but the franchise is desperate to contend with the nucleus of LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love. The Cavaliers have struggled to a 19-16 start this season.
Denver is thrilled with the promise of rookie 7-footer Jusuf Nurkic, who has averaged nearly 13 points, 8.5 rebounds and 3.5 blocks in his past four games.