The Cleveland Cavaliers pride themselves of their spectacular roster. Apart from the entry of LeBron James in the NBA championship runner-up squad, several notable basketball stars were also included on the list. Some of the noteworthy stars are Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love. Another NBA star who had been promising upon acquisition is Timofey Mozgov.
However, the recent months have not been kind to the 7'1" basketball star. His entry into the Cleveland Cavaliers roster had been marred by injuries and failed championship. Moreover, Mozgov had been lagging way behind his potential - an observation that King James himself always points out. The final straw that appeared to have opened doors for NBA trade talks is the Cleveland Cavaliers' game against the Philadelphia 76ers.
In the said match up, Mozgov made the mistake of trying for a three-pointer with only seven seconds left in the first half. With his failed shot and the subsequent consequences of his actions, head coach David Blatt opted to bench the European basketball star for the rest of the game. Meanwhile, James was seen seething behind Mozgov as the former struggles to keep his composure.
"I'm not sure," said James when asked to comment on Mozgov's performance, according to ESPN. He added, "I'm not sure where he's mentally. Only he knows that. As a leader of the team, you just give him as much positive energy, give him as much positive notion about what he needs to do for our team. But at the end of the day, like I told you guys last year about Kev [Love], you can give a guy so much but at the end of the day, you got to figure it out yourself too sometimes. I think he's at that point."
Even before the match up against the Jahlil Okafor squad, James had been highly critical of Mosgov. While some teams reportedly expressed interest in the center, the Cleveland Cavaliers are adamant on trying to keep him. Apart from presumably still seeing his potential, the trade for the Russian star came with a high cost for Iman Shumpert squad. The Cleveland Cavaliers lost two protected first-round picks to sign Mozgov, so the team is expected to get their money's worth.
Meanwhile, another Cleveland Cavaliers star getting involved in NBA trade talks is Anderson Varejao. The 33-year-old power forward has been with the JR Smith squad since 2004. However, the Brazilian basketball star might be bidding farewell to the Cleveland Cavaliers soon. Reports have surfaced that an exit for Varejao after the NBA season might be on the table.
Varejao has seen his minutes get substantially reduced in the past months. With limited minutes on the hardwood court, the Wild Thing also incurred a diminished role in the squad. Given the circumstances, some sports analysts believe that Varejao would be better off with a trade. Similar with Mozgov, NBA teams are reportedly interested in acquiring Varejao. However, the power forward appears adamant about his desire to stay with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
"If I go anywhere else and win a championship, it's not going to be the same," said Varejao of the trade rumors, according to Cleveland.com. "I want to win a championship in Cleveland. That's where I want to stay. I love Cleveland."
He added, "Because Cleveland's been loyal to me and I've been loyal to the team," he responded. "I had a chance to leave when the team was really bad, going through a rebuilding process when we were losing almost every other game, and it was tough. I said, 'I'm not leaving Cleveland. I want to win a championship in Cleveland' and I know now we have a chance."