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Cleveland Cavaliers Rumors: JR Smith, Timofey Mozgov Return if Kevin Love, Anderson Varejao Gone? Tristan Thompson Contract Pushed with LeBron James Deal

The Cleveland Cavaliers made a few trades at the mid-season deadline that were determined to be panic trades. The team had suffered early losses despite acquiring LeBron James and Kevin Love in the offseason and the team was looking far from the Eastern Conference contenders they were predicted to be. However, acquiring JR Smith, Timofey Mozgov and Iman Shumpert certainly proved to be the perfect short-term answers, but will they get the chance to be long-term solutions?

Cleveland Cavaliers guard JR Smith
Cleveland Cavaliers guard JR Smith prepares to shoot free throws during a 2015 home game.

With Yahoo Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski reporting the Cavaliers have a legitimate fear Love is planning on bolting when free agency begins, the team would be wise to focus on the future of the other players on the team’s roster. According to, JR Smith is hoping he can be a priority for the team as he has a desire to return for next year. Smith has a $6 million player option for the 2015-16 season that he is expected to opt into. He remains hopeful the Cavaliers feel the same way about him.

This is a great team, Smith said, via the Cleveland Plain Dealer. We have great camaraderie. We have everything. We have all the keys. It’s just a matter of putting them together one step at a time.

Another player expected to stick around is Mozgov who originally came in to fill the void of Anderson Varejao. The Cavaliers were considering seeing if Varejao was healthy for the playoffs after tearing his Achilles at the start of the season. When Love went down there was concern about how his role would be filled, but team doctors ruled out the center from playing. As a result, Mozgov has been thriving and proving to be a critical piece to the team. Mozgov has a $4 million team option for next season which is very manageable. Varejao is in the final year of his contract and there is a real chance the Cavaliers could favor keeping Mozgov and letting the center walk away.

According to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, one player that Cleveland is going to make sure stays put is Tristan Thompson who is excelling in place of Love. The Cavaliers opted to start the forward when Love went down and he has been playing well in the postseason as a result. Thompson will be a restricted free agent this summer and already turned down one deal from Cleveland. That was wise considering he can get more this summer. The question is where or not the Cavaliers will meet his contract demands.

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Cleveland Cavaliers Rumors: JR Smith, Timofey Mozgov Return if Kevin Love, Anderson Varejao Gone? Tristan Thompson Contract Pushed with LeBron James Deal

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