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CLEVELAND, Feb. 24 – The Cleveland Cavaliers have acquired guard/forward Jiri Welsch from the Boston Celtics, Cavaliers President and General Manager of Basketball Operations Jim Paxson announced today.
The Cavaliers will send their first round pick in 2007 to Boston (protected for the top ten picks). To complete the transaction, Cleveland’s first round pick in 2005, which is owed to Charlotte (via Phoenix), is now an unprotected pick (previously playoff protected).
Welsch, 25, has started 32 of 55 games for the Celtics this season, averaging 7.5 points on .427 shooting from the field and 2.5 rebounds in 20.5 minutes per game. In 173 career games (100 starts), Welsch is averaging 7.1 points on .415 shooting from the field, 2.7 rebounds and 1.7 assists. Last season the Czech Republic native averaged career highs in every major statistical category.
"We've been interested in Jiri for some time now and we felt it was the right time to get him here,” Paxson said. “He is an aggressive, complete player that can impact offense and defense, so we look forward to his involvement on both ends of the court. Jiri has the talent needed to make a difference for us this season and we look forward to seeing him excel as a Cavalier."
Welsch, in his third season, is expected to join the team in Indiana in time for Friday’s game against the Pacers (8:00 p.m. ET; ESPN/FSN Ohio).
In a related move, the Cavaliers have requested waivers on forward James Thomas. He was signed to a 10-day contract on February 22.
The Cavaliers active roster now stands at 12.