Cavaliers say they didn’t mortgage the farm to trade for Timofey Mozgov


The Cavaliers were reportedly close to a trade with the Nuggets for Timofey Mozgov.

Now, it’s done.

Cavaliers release:

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.

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.

That second rounder wasn’t mentioned in the initial reports, so that makes the trade look a little better for Cleveland – emphasis on little. The Bulls and Trail Blazers are good enough to ensure that pick falls in the low 50s.

As a reminder, the Grizzlies’ pick is protected 1-5 and 15-30 this year and next, 1-5 in 2017 and 2018 and unprotected in 2019. The Thunder’s pick is protected 1-18 this year and 1-15 the next two years and becomes two second rounders if not conveyed by 2017.

Cavaliers general manager David Griffin, via Ethan J. Skolnick of Bleacher Report:

Mozgov gives the Cavaliers their highly coveted big man, a need that became more pronounced after Anderson Varejao’s season-ending injury. With little question, Mozgov makes Cleveland better. Whether he’ll justify surrendering two first rounders is another question.

Griffin is correct that Cleveland had plenty of assets to work with, but this deal and the one that acquired Iman Shumpert and J.R. Smith cashed in a lot of them. The Cavaliers can now trade only one future first rounder, their 2021 selection. Their other key asset, Brenan Haywood’s contract, won’t bear fruit until the offseason, when his salary shoots up and the deal becomes unguaranteed.

If the Cavaliers didn’t mortgage the farm to get Mozgov, they sold off most of the livestock. The property remains, and that’s valuable, but there’s not much leeway to paint the barn or install a new fence.

Report: Cavaliers, sending two first rounders, near trade for Nuggets’ Timofey Mozgov


Update: Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:

The Cavaliers can absorb Mozgov into a trade exception. The Grizzlies’ pick is protected 1-5 and 15-30 this year and next, 1-5 in 2017 and 2018 and unprotected in 2019. The Thunder’s pick is protected 1-18 this year and 1-15 the next two years and becomes two second rounders if not conveyed in that span.

All the caveats I mention below about pick protections: Ignore them. The Nuggets did very well for themselves.


The Cavaliers have been trying to trade for Nuggets center Timofey Mozgov since the offseason.

After being rebuffed by Denver and getting no help from Mozgov himself, Cleveland might finally gets its desired big man, a need made more pressing by Anderson Varejao’s season-ending injury.

Marc Stein of ESPN:

The Cavaliers have the lesser of their own and Chicago’s first-round pick this year. They owe Boston a future first rounder, but they have incoming firsts from Memphis and Oklahoma City, acquired in this week’s Dion Waiters trade.

A lot of people thought Cleveland dealt its most tradable asset, Waiters, for wing help (Iman Shumpert and J.R. Smith) that wasn’t as necessary as another big man. But that trade didn’t close the door on still seeking a center elsewhere. In fact, it may have even strengthened the Cavaliers’ position.

Two first-round picks, depending on their protections, are a steep price to pay for Mozgov. It sounds as if the Nuggets, who should be focused on rebuilding as their expensive roster is sinking from playoff contention, will be very happy with their return.

For the Cavaliers, it’s about winning now with a team that features LeBron James, Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving. Mozgov will ease the burden on Tristan Thompson at center and make Love’s life a little easier in the frontcourt.

Mozgov has a very reasonable $4.95 million team option for next season, so he’ll likely stick in Cleveland for a bit. He also has experience with Cavaliers coach David Blatt with the Russian national team, which could ease his adjustment to his soon-to-be new team.

Again, the exact protections on the draft picks could change perception, but the Cavaliers look a little desperate here. Maybe that’s the approach they need, though.

Report: Emeka Okafor likely to delay comeback from injury until next season


Emeka Okafor last played in the NBA for the Wizards during the 2013 NBA season, and with averages of 9.7 points and 8.8 rebounds in 26 minutes per contest, proved himself to be a legitimate starting center.

He missed all of last season after suffering a herniated disk in his neck, however, but was on the radar of teams that expected him to return in free agency this year.

While Okafor is reportedly healthy, he’s in no rush to return. And in fact, he may wait until the start of next season before deciding to do so.

From Marc Stein of

Veteran center Emeka Okafor, who is being tracked by numerous teams in search of frontcourt help, is giving strong consideration to delaying his comeback from a neck injury until next season, according to league sources.

Sources told that Okafor, who missed all of last season after suffering a herniated disk in his neck, is leaning toward waiting until the summer before committing to a new team to give himself more time to continue strength and conditioning work.

Okafor, 32, is “healthy,” according to one source, but is reluctant to rush back this season.

Cleveland is one team in desperate need of front line help, especially now that Anderson Varejao has been lost for the season due to injury. The Heat and the Mavericks had also reportedly expressed interest, but it appears as though any team will now have to wait until next season to acquire the big man’s services.

Report: Cavaliers granted disabled player exception for Anderson Varejao


Clearly the Cleveland Cavaliers need some help on the roster. A rim protecting big man would be nice, a little help at the three spot and/or some better perimeter defenders would certainly be welcomed.

Now the Cavaliers have a tool to maybe add some of that in season.

With center Anderson Varejao out for the season with a torn Achilles the team has been granted a disabled player exception, reports Marc Stein of ESPN.

It gives the Cavaliers front office some flexibility, particularly around the trade deadline.

Not that it will be that easy for them — there are not a lot of quality rim-protecting big men just floating around out there. The Cavaliers have been calling all season about big men they could trade for — Brook Lopez, Timofey Mozgov, Brandan Wright, Samuel Dalembert, Jordan Hill, a lot of names have surfaced in trade rumors. None of those has panned out and Dion Waiters has not shown to have a great trade value around the league.

Still, look for the Cavs — who are struggling compared to expectations — to try to be aggressive as the trade deadline starts to draw closer.

Report: Kenyon Martin to meet with Bucks head coach Jason Kidd; Cavaliers also interested


Kenyon Martin played for the Knicks last season, but was limited to just 32 appearances due to injury.

At Summer League in Las Vegas, Martin said he was feeling “night and day” from the way he did while battling ankle issues last year, and expressed hope that he would return to the Knicks this season.

But 30 games in, he remains unemployed.

Martin has had conversations with the Rockets and the Grizzlies, but received no commitments as a result. An upcoming meeting with a former teammate, however, may be his best chance of catching on with someone for the remainder of the season.

From Charles F. Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

A source confirmed Tuesday that Kidd has a meeting scheduled with NBA veteran Kenyon Martin, a former teammate of Kidd’s with the New Jersey Nets.

The source characterized the discussions as preliminary but the Bucks are lean at the power forward position due to the season-ending injury suffered by rookie Jabari Parker and several injuries (broken nose, concussion) to veteran power forward Ersan Ilyasova. Center Larry Sanders also has been out the past three games due to illness but is expected back fairly soon.

The Bucks are at the league maximum of 15 players and would have to create a roster spot if they decide to sign Martin.

The lack of a roster spot appears to be the biggest hurdle to Milwaukee inking Martin, even to a 10-day contract which teams can offer beginning Jan. 5.

Nate Wolters and Kendall Marshall are the only ones in place who don’t have any guaranteed money owed to them beyond this season. But Marshall plays regular minutes in the rotation, and it’s unclear if Milwaukee would be interested in giving up on a second-year player like Wolters simply to take a chance on a veteran like Martin whose ability to produce at this stage of his career his questionable, at best.

Meanwhile, Marc Spears of Yahoo Sports reports that the Cavaliers may also be interested in obtaining Martin’s services.

The Cavaliers also have some interest in Martin, a source said. Cleveland, however, is not in a rush to replace injured forward-center Anderson Varejao, who was recently lost for the season because of a torn Achilles’ tendon. If the Cavaliers do decide to open a roster spot to replace Varejao, either guard A.J. Price, forward Louis Amundson or center Alex Kirk is expected to be waived, a source said. Martin, who has averaged 12.5 points and 6.9 rebounds in a 14-year career, recently expressed interest in playing for Cleveland after Varejao was injured.

This really comes down to just how capable Martin is of contributing. If he looks good in workouts, once the 10-day contract option becomes available to teams next week, it’s likely that someone gives him a shot.