To be fair, things that are also real: The Cavs' need for a big man in the wake of Anderson Varejao's injury; Mozgov's connection to former Russian national team coach David Blatt (who is still at the helm at Cleveland, at least for now); the fact that mid-to-late round picks, even in the first round, don't mean a ton to the Cavs at this point. They want win-now guys, not win-in-a-few-years guys (Exhibit A: Andrew Wiggins).
[Note: These picks come from the Thunder and Grizzlies, and the Grizz pick is "largely unprotected" meaning it could become a late lottery pick for the Nuggets at some point. Still, win-now.]
Yet another thing that is real: Cleveland's fear of losing LeBron, again. And you know what? I don't blame them, even though LeBron is basically the GM and probably had to sign off on both the trades the Cavs made in the past week. From this not-so-cryptic comment to Dwyane Wade to the fact that he's got opt-outs after each year of his two-year deal, a departure isn't far-fetched (plus, ya know, he's done it before).
There is only one reason why a team would make two major trades in the span of a three days in the first week of January: They're afraid this thing is about to fly off the rails. Swoop in now and grab the pieces you need before the rival teams do (a lockdown defender, a rebounding big man... J.R. Smith?!?!?! Okay, sure) and try to make this work. If LeBron leaves again, Cleveland is officially fucking doomed forever.
Also, remember when Mozgov's name was a term for getting ferociously dunked on? And now he's worth two-first rounders? My, how things change.
Photo via Getty
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