NBA TRADES Cavaliers complete deal with Celtics for Welsch
Cleveland gave up a 2007 first-round draft pick in the deal.
For nearly a year, the Cleveland Cavaliers discussed adding guard Jiri Welsch to their roster. On Thursday, they did it.
Hoping to improve their atrocious outside shooting to make life easier for All-Stars LeBron James and Zydrunas Ilgauskas, the Cavaliers acquired Welsch from the Boston Celtics for a 2007 first-round draft pick.
The deal doesn't stack up with some of the blockbusters made before the NBA's 3 p.m. trade deadline, and it certainly won't tilt the balance of power in the Eastern Conference. But it was an essential move for the Cavaliers.
Welsch isn't Michael Redd, but he'll help.
"This is somebody that we've liked for a while," Cavs general manager Jim Paxson said. "He's a very versatile player. He's got good size, he's got toughness. He can put the ball on the floor and he can defend."
Couldn't deal for Redd
Redd's name was the one most mentioned in pre-deadline rumors, but when it came and passed, Redd, who will be an unrestricted free agent this summer, was still a member of the Milwaukee Bucks.
Paxson refused to comment on specific talks with other teams, but it's no secret that the Cavs would love to eventually add Redd.
"We were aggressive trying to pursue some opportunities," Paxson said. "But we didn't want to do anything that would possibly severely hamper our flexibility this summer, and Jiri Welsch doesn't."
Welsch, who started 32 games this season for Boston before losing his job to rookie Tony Allen, will be in uniform for tonight's game at Indiana. He's making $1.4 million this season and $2.1 million in 2006.
Other key trades
Elsewhere, the weakest division in the NBA suddenly looks a little stronger, with Antoine Walker back on the Celtics and Chris Webber in Philadelphia.
Eleven deals involving 31 players were made in the final 24 hours before the cutoff.
Baron Davis was traded from New Orleans to Golden State for Speedy Claxton and Dale Davis, Keith Van Horn went from Milwaukee to Dallas for Calvin Booth and Alan Henderson, and Houston acquired several veterans to add to the league's oldest roster.
Walker went to Boston in a four-player trade, with Gary Payton, Michael Stewart, Tom Gugliotta and a No. 1 pick going to Atlanta.
Rodney Rogers and injured forward Jamal Mashburn were dealt from New Orleans to Philadelphia for Glenn Robinson, who has not played this season. It was the second trade in a span of less than 24 hours by 76ers general manager Billy King, who pulled off a blockbuster Wednesday night by acquiring Webber from the Sacramento Kings for forwards Corliss Williamson, Brian Skinner and Kenny Thomas.
In other deals:
USan Antonio acquired center Nazr Mohammed and guard Jamison Brewer from New York for forward Malik Rose and two future No. 1 draft picks
UNew York acquired forward Maurice Taylor from Houston for guard Moochie Norris, forward Vin Baker and a second-round draft pick.
UHouston got guard Mike James and center Zendon Hamilton from Milwaukee for guard Reece Gaines and two future second-round picks.
There were two other trades awaiting league approval:
UGolden State sending center Eduardo Najera to Denver for forward Nicoloz Tskitishvili.
UCharlotte dealing veteran Steve Smith to Miami for forward Malik Allen.