According to a report, the Cleveland Cavaliers have been pursuing a trade for Denver Nuggets center Timofey Mozgov for nearly two months.
Brian Windhorst of ESPN told ESPN Cleveland Radio on Tuesday that the Cavs have been trying to work out a trade for the 7-foot-1 Russian center for six to eight weeks.
Mozgov played for new Cleveland coach David Blatt on the Russian national team. Blatt told Russian outlet ITAR-TASS a few weeks back that the Cavaliers tried to get Mozgov.
However, Alexander Chernykh of Sports.ru reported via Twitter a few weeks back:
Cavs tried to trade for Timofey Mozgov, David Blatt told ITAR-TASS. Added that he would love to add Shved, though neither trade will happen.
— Alexander Chernykh (@chernykh) August 8, 2014
It makes sense the Cavaliers would chase Mozgov—their most glaring weakness is at backup center and he is coming off a career year in Denver during which he played in all 82 games (the only member of the injury-ravaged Nuggets to do so in 2013-14) and averaged 9.4 points, 6.4 rebounds and 1.2 blocks in 21.6 minutes per game while shooting .523/.167/.754.
But Mozgov is due $4.65 million in 2014-15 and has a team option for $4.95 million for 2015-16. With JaVale McGee returning after playing just five games because of a stress fracture in his tibia, the Nuggets really don’t have a lot of incentive to dump Mozgov, 28, for a package that would more than likely include the remnants of center Brendan Haywood, 34, who last played an NBA game in 2012-13.
Anderson Varejao will be 32 in September and the 65 games the oft-injured Brazilian played in 2013-14 was his most action since 2009-10.
Varejao missed 51 games in 2010-11, 41 in the lockout-shortened 2011-12 and 57 in 2012-13—not exactly a guy who can be counted on for 80 games at 35 minutes a night.
But it’s extremely doubtful the Cavaliers could put a package together that would convince the Nuggets—with their own fragility issues surrounding their starting center—to part with the big and durable Mozgov.