David Griffin‘s pursuit of Timofey Mozgov began just weeks after becoming the Cavs’ GM, and LeBron James told Cleveland’s front office late in the summer to swing a deal for the 28-year-old Russian if at all possible, as Terry Pluto of The Plain Dealer details. Mozgov has quickly developed a close relationship with James, observes Pluto, who also notes that the big man’s arrival has benefited David Blatt by providing the first-year NBA coach a player who he’s had experience coaching in the past. There’s more from Pluto below amid our latest look at what’s happening in Cleveland..
- The Cavs’ front office had concerns about J.R. Smith‘s past legal troubles, but the team elected to pull the trigger on the deal to bring him to Cleveland after LeBron and Kyrie Irving, two players who knew Smith, urged Griffin and company to complete the trade, according to Pluto.
- Prior to the acquisition of Smith and Iman Shumpert, there were serious concerns about the Cavs’ lack of depth within Cleveland’s locker room, as one anonymous player tells Chris Haynes of the Northeast Ohio Media Group. One more player told Haynes that the issue was never a collective lack of faith in Blatt, who was rumored to have lost the attention of his players.
- LeBron hasn’t reached out to Dion Waiters since the third-year guard was shipped to Oklahoma City, but Waiters doesn’t appear to be devastated by the lack of communication, as Haynes passes along in another piece. “Man, he had his chance to reach out,” Waiters told Haynes. “I’m not losing any sleep… Both teams are doing great. [We’re both winning]. Everybody seems at ease now and that’s what it’s about.“