The Cleveland Cavaliers reportedly are still trying to trade for Denver Nuggets center Timofey Mozgov. Cleveland, meanwhile, also reportedly received LeBron James's blessing to trade Dion Waiters for Iman Shumpert and J.R. Smith.
The inaugural season of Cleveland's Big Three so far has been a rollercoaster ride with ups and downs. The revamped team is continuing to build chemistry with each other, and a number of injuries haven't made that task any easier. Through 35 games, Cleveland's biggest deficiency has become glaringly obvious: defense.
In an effort to shore up the paint and fill the void left by losing Anderson Varejao for the season, the Cavaliers reportedly are continuing their search for a big man. According to Yahoo Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski, Cleveland is still in hot pursuit of Mozgov, a 7-foot-1 center whom they've reportedly been pursuing for most of the season.
"Cleveland (is) remaining in pursuit of (Timofey) Mozgov, but Denver (is) still reluctant to deal him, league sources tell Yahoo," Wojnarowski tweeted Monday.
Fortunately, Cleveland's three-team trade with the New York Knicks and the Oklahoma City Thunder on Monday likely put them in a better position to entice Denver into dealing Mozgov, thanks to the Thunder sending over a 2015 protected first-round pick.
The Cavaliers potentially now have three first-round picks - their own, Memphis' and Oklahoma City's - in the upcoming draft, giving general manager David Griffin more assets to wheel-and-deal with before the Feb. 19 trade deadline passes.
In addition to a new asset to barter with, Monday night's trade helped shore up a few other weaknesses in the Cavs' roster: Shumpert gives them a much-needed perimeter defender, and Smith has the potential to be a big scorer off the bench.
It was a deal that also had James's OK, with ESPN reporting the team spoke to James about the trade before executing it.