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Cavs Trade Potapenko To Celtics

The Cavaliers acquired Andrew DeClercq and a first-round draft pick from Boston in a trade Thursday for Vitaly Potapenko, Cleveland team president Wayne Embry announced.

The 6-foot-10, Ukrainian-born Potapenko has played in all 17 Cleveland games this season, averaging 8.4 points and 5.5 rebounds per game. He was selected by Cleveland as the 12th pick overall in the 1996 draft.

Potapenko, 23, who played for Wright State, has a career average of 6.7 points and 3.5 rebounds in 177 NBA games.

The 6-10 DeClercq has averaged 5.4 points and 4.5 rebounds in 14 games for Boston. He was drafted by Golden State in the second round, the 34th pick overall, in the 1995 draft, and was in his second year with Boston.

DeClercq has a career average of 5 points and 4.2 rebounds in 188 NBA games.

As part of the trade, Cleveland also gets a first-round draft pick between now and 2001. The Cavs have the option of when to use the pick.

Under the terms of the deal, Cleveland's pick cannot be among the top three this year. A pick in the following two years would be unprotected.

Potapenko had been used largely as a reserve forward-center until a season-ending injury to center Zydrunas Ilgauskas last month.

Cleveland had been under a deadline to sign Potapenko to a new contract by Saturday or face losing him to free agency after the season.

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