The Cleveland Cavaliers have found their "real, true center."
Desperate for a rim-protecting big man, Cleveland acquired center Timofey Mozgov from the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday night for two first-round draft picks.
The Cavaliers announced their second major trade in three days during the first half of their game against the Houston Rockets. Cleveland, which has underachieved while enduring a rash of injuries, sent two protected 2015 first-round picks — one acquired in 2013 from Memphis, the other from Oklahoma City this week — to Denver for the 7-foot-1 Mozgov and a 2015 second-round pick.
Mozgov averaged 8.5 points and 7.8 rebounds in 35 games this season for the Nuggets. The Cavaliers feel he can fill the large hole they had in the middle after starting center Anderson Varejao was lost for the season with a torn Achilles' tendon.
Cleveland General Manager David Griffin had targeted Mozgov for months and was finally able to land him — at a steep price.
"His numbers don't have to be flashy," Griffin said at halftime. "We've got three players who are flashy. We need guys to do the dirt work."
Mozgov played for Cavaliers Coach David Blatt on the Russian national team, and their relationship should make the five-year veteran's transition a little easier.