The Cleveland Cavaliers, who have been the subject of intense scrutiny for their uninspiring form, were busy this week with a three-way deal with the New York Knicks and Oklahoma City Thunder that moved guard Dion Waiters, big men Alex Kirk and Lou Amundson, and a 2019 second-round draft pick, for Knicks guards J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert, as well as a protected 2015 first-round draft pick from the Thunder.
The Cavs may not be done making deals. According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, the Cavs are interested in Denver Nuggets center Timofey Mozgov. The 28-year-old is averaging 8.5 points per game and 7.8 rebounds in 25.6 minutes per night.
However, sources told Wojnarowski that the Nuggets are reluctant to make a deal. Mozgov is making $4.6 million this season, and has a team option next season at $4.95 million. It’s unclear if the Nuggets would be interested in the new players that the Cavaliers acquired. Smith is earning $5.98 million, while Shumpert is making $2.76 million.
Smith played for Denver from 2006 to 2011, and was signed by the Knicks following the 2011 NBA lockout.
Mozgov, who is listed at 7’1, might be a much-needed addition to Cleveland. David Blatt’s squad is 23rd in the NBA in rebounding (41.2) and 26th in blocks (4.1).
The Cavs have also received limited scoring production from the interior. Veteran center Brendan Haywood played just four minutes off the bench in Monday’s road loss to the lowly Philadelphia 76ers, 95-92. Anderson Varejao was lost for the season on Dec. 23 after injuring his Achilles, but the Cavs were granted a disabled player exception, valued at $4.9 million.
Meanwhile, the Cavs continue to struggle after winning 13 of their first 20 games. They have lost five of their last six games and are currently the No. 5 seed in the Eastern Conference. Cleveland entered the season as favorites to come out of the East.
The Nuggets have five less wins than the Phoenix Suns, who are the current No. 8 seed in the deep Western Conference. The Nuggets are also competing with the New Orleans Pelicans and Thunder for a playoff berth.
The trade deadline is Feb. 19.