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Cavs Notes: Mozgov, Varejao, Jones

Cavs center Timofey Mozgov is struggling this season, and even LeBron James is at a loss for what it will take to snap the Russian big man out of his funk, Dave McMenamin of ESPN.com writes. “I’m not sure,” James said when asked what’s wrong with Mozgov. “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 Kevin 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.

Mozgov’s name has surfaced recently in trade rumors, though the Cavs’ front office prefers to keep the big man through the remainder of the season with the hope that he can turn his play around, McMenamin adds. Cleveland could save between $15-20MM in tax penalties by dealing away Mozgov prior to February’s trade deadline. Here’s more from Cleveland:

  • Anderson Varejao is averaging a career low 8.8 minutes per game this season, but the center says that he won’t request a trade, Chris Haynes of The Northeast Ohio Media Group writes. “If I go anywhere else and win a championship, it’s not going to be the same,” Varejao said. “I want to win a championship in Cleveland. That’s where I want to stay. I love Cleveland.” When asked why he wouldn’t welcome an opportunity to play more, even with another team, the center responded, “Because Cleveland’s been loyal to me and I’ve been loyal to the team. 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.”
  • Damon Jones, who is currently an assistant coach for the Cavs’ D-League affiliate, credits James for his newfound career path, Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports writes. “He’s been very instrumental,” Jones said of James. “He was the reason why I got the opportunity last [season]. He felt comfortable in me helping him in any way possible. It gave me an avenue to get back in the game. Not only right now, but even when I played we had a great relationship and he did a lot of things for my career. Without him, I don’t know if the opportunities I’m receiving right now would be received.

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