Timofey Mozgov not pushing to leave Nuggets in trade to Cavaliers

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Yes, Timofey Mozgov would enjoy playing for David Blatt, his coach on the Russian national team.

Of course, Mozgov would like lining up next to LeBron James, a superstar who makes his teammates better.

But despite rumors of the Cavaliers trying to trade for him, Mozgov insists he doesn’t want to leave the Nuggets.

Denver, Mozgov told itar-tass.com (through Google translate):

has developed successfully and to take any steps to withdraw from the team would be unwise.

The best trade idea I see is John Lucas III, Malcolm Thomas, Erik Murphy and a protected first rounder for Mozgov. Denver could waive its incoming players for a total cost of $100,000 (Murphy’s guarantee). However, that trade isn’t allowed until Sept. 22.

But the Nuggets can use Mozgov, 28, now. His contract doesn’t expire until 2016, so there’s no rush to trade him.

Mozgov could pull a Kevin Love and request his way to Cleveland. Obviously, Mozgov doesn’t hold the same pull as Love, but any player can sway his future by expressing unhappiness.

However, it doesn’t seem Mozgov has any interest in going that route – even if he sees positives with the Cavaliers.

Warriors pose for photos with Jahlil Okafor’s dad’s ‘FREE JAH’ shirt

AP Photo/Chris Szagola
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Jahlil Okafor‘s father has not been shy about speaking out on his son’s behalf. NBA players are advocating for the 76ers to grant Okafor, who’s out of the rotation and on an expiring contract, his desired trade or buyout.

When both join forces…

Kevin Durant, Draymond Green and Stephen Curry appear to really enjoy Chukwudi Okafor’s shirt. That doesn’t mean they’re necessarily calling on Philadelphia to do anything. But they hadn’t to know how it’d be perceived.

It’s easy to predict free agents will avoid the 76ers as a result of the Okafor situation, but few anticipate getting stuck similarly. Players overwhelmingly value money, winning, role and location. If Golden State’s stars are applying any external pressure, it shouldn’t really move Philadelphia more than anything that has already been said and done.

A couple of Lonzo Ball’s triple-double assists look dubious (video)

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Lonzo Ball draws outsized attention because his father, LaVar Ball, lures onlookers and because the rookie plays for the high-profile Los Angeles Lakers.

So, when Lonzo gets a triple-double – like his 11-points, 16-rebound, 11-assists game against the Nuggets yesterday – it draws scrutiny.

Mo Dakhil of The Jump Ball:

The NBA defines an assist as a “pass that directly leads to a basket. … An assist can be awarded for a basket scored after the ball has been dribbled if the player’s pass led to the field goal being made.”

I wouldn’t describe either of those passing as leading directly to a basket. Ball’s teammates each hold the ball for a moment after receiving the pass then take two dribbles against set defenses.

But assists are subjective, and the Lakers aren’t alone in offering a home-court scorekeeping advantage.

Kyle Neubeck of Philly Voice

So, criticize/laugh at the Lakers. But your favorite team probably manipulates assists in its favor, too.

Robin Lopez and T.J. Warren exchange contact, heated words (video)

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Robin Lopez whacked T.J. Warren in the head while chasing an offensive rebound. Warren didn’t like that, so he ran to the opposite end of the court and shoved Lopez to the floor. A heated confrontation ensued, though it didn’t escalate beyond yelling.

Warren received a flagrant foul, and Lopez was hit with a technical in the Suns’ 113-105 win over the Bulls.

Lakers blow 5-on-1 fastbreak (video)

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Corey Brewer is better at finishing fastbreaks than leading them.

Nice defense by Emmanuel Mudiay, too.

But at least the Lakers won.