NBA Trade Rumors: Cleveland Cavaliers after Timofey Mozgov Or Emeka Okafor for Rim Protection

( [email protected] ) Aug 29, 2014 09:40 AM EDT
The Cavs have built a star studded team already, but they are not done yet.
Mozgov's size makes him a rim protection specialist. AP

The Cleveland Cavaliers seem determined to win next season, if you look at the strategic moves they have made this off season.  The mind blowing thing is, they are not done yet!  If they do not win an NBA championship, it will not be because management didn't put the best team possible on the court.   

Cav's GM David Griffin announced during an interview with Jay Mohr on FOX sports radio Tuesday that they are still concerned about the team's ability to protect the rim next season, which is the reason why they are remaining active on the free agency and trade market, and why they plan to add a shot blocker to the squad.  

"I think he's an elite defensive rebounder," Griffin said about his new acquisition Kevin Love. "I have concerns relative to our ability to protect the rim, and that's not just a Kevin question. We're going to need to add that, but I don't have any concerns about Kevin's ability to be in the right place at the right time from a team defensive perspective. His Basketball IQ is fantastic."

Griffin also said he expects Love to be with Cleveland for a while, so maybe that frees Griffin up to look to add to the goal of winning a championship.

On Tuesday, Brian Windhorst of ESPN may have given us a clue to how the Cavs are looking to add to their rim protection.  He claims the Cavaliers have been trying to acquire Timofey Mozgov, but he also acknowledges the Denver Nuggets are remaining firm on keeping the 7-foot-1 center.

In Griffin's interview with Mohr, he said one of the things he loves is that Cavaliers Coach David Blatt builds "deep, meaningful relationships with players," and that could go far in helping Cleveland acquire Mozgov,  who played for coach Blatt with the Russian national basketball team.  

Mozgov averaged 9.4 points to go along with 6.4 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game last season.

Marc Stein of ESPN also reported recently that the Cavaliers are one of the teams that are very interested in signing free-agent center Emeka Okafor, who averaged 9.7 points and 8.8 rebounds to go along with 1.0 block during the 2012-13 season before sitting out last year because of a herniated disk.  Stein included the Cavs, but said "roughly half the league" will also be interested when 6-foot-10 big man comes back.