Rumor Roundup: Love, Cavs, Mozgov, Nets

Sam Amico

Power forward Kevin Love has never been more comfortable with the Cavaliers, per NBA writer Brian Windhorst on an ESPN Radio podcast.

Per the Akron Beacon Journal: "On his way out of the locker room, one of the Cavs’ staffers tried handing Kevin Love the stat sheet from his historic 34-point first quarter as a thoughtful keepsake. Love had nowhere to carry it, however, so he left it on a chair and said he would get a copy another day after practice."

“I can print out the second through fourth quarters instead if you want,” the staffer joked, poking fun at what was a rather dreary six points on 1 of 6 shooting for Love after the first quarter. (Full report.)

The Beacon Journal adds: "Love, however, is taking it in stride. It took a while, but he’s finally comfortable in his surroundings. He gave up apartment life and is a homeowner now. He loves his house and he has adjusted to Cleveland; his girlfriend even loves it here." (Full report.)

Per Cleveland.com: "There are numerous ways to guard the pick-and-roll, and with LeBron James and Kyrie Irving in attack mode, so slick with the basketball, it forces the defense into a decision. Portland chose to take away the driving lane early."

"They were ICE-ing the pick-and-rolls and Kevin was popping back and having wide open shots," Lue said. "So, if they're going to play like that we'll take that all day." (Full report.)

Per Cleveland.com: "On a night of individual performances, where numerous records fell, James wasn't left out. He recorded his 44th career regular season triple-double, which moved him in front of Fat Lever for 6th-most in NBA history."

The Cavs played more than 7 minutes and 30 seconds, and scored 31 points. before LeBron took first shot of game, per the Medina Gazette.

Per Cavs.com: "Kyrie Irving’s 20-point effort – his 11th such outing in 13 games this season – almost went unnoticed among his teammate’s offensive fireworks. On the night, the All-Star point guard went 8-for-15 from the floor, including 3-of-6 from long-range, adding six assists and a steal." (Full report.)

The Cavs' 81-point first half Wednesday was just two points shy of tying the franchise record, per the team.

Per ESPN: "Former Cleveland Cavaliers center Timofey Mozgov is back at Oracle as a member of the Los Angeles Lakers for the first time since winning the Finals in Game 7 against the Golden State Warriors. I asked him if the locker room still smelled of champagne, and he responded 'Nah, I think they changed the carpet.'"

The Trail Blazers wouldn't mind making a trade for another big man but will have a hard time doing until at least Dec. 15, when the trade restrictions expire for Evan Turner and Festus Ezeli, per Yahoo Sports. (Full post from Amico Hoops.)

Bucks forward Khris Middleton would make sense as a potential trade target for the Mavericks, per the Dallas News.

Pistons point guard Reggie Jackson (Achilles) could return to action as soonas the first week of December, per Michigan Live.

The Rockets have pulled their offer to restricted free agent forward Donatas Motiejunas, per ESPN. Motiejunas is represented by former NBA guard B.J. Armstrong, now a player agent.

According to ESPN, "rival executives are increasingly convinced" that the Nets are open to trading center Brook Lopez between now and the February deadline. (Full report.)

Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg believes AAU basketball has an impact on NBA free agency, per a report from ESPN. "Really since, shoot, going all the way back to eighth or ninth grade the way it is now,” Hoiberg said. “Then just the relationships they build over the summers. These guys all seem to get together in L.A. or Miami or wherever it might be. So they build those relationships, they play together with Team USA now and they do build those special bonds. So yeah, it probably is a little easier to reach out. You see some of the superteams now that are being created, and I think a lot of that has to do with relationships that are built over the summer." (Full report.)

Representatives for Kings forward Omri Casspi have "quietly" been exploring the trade market, per the Sacramento Bee.

The 76ers are more likely to trade Nerlens Noel than Jahlil Okafor, per one report.Amico Hoops post.

Former NBA center Jeff Ayers has been released by CSKA Moscow of Russia, and offered to Barcelona of Spain, per David Pick.

Former NBA and D-League point guard Maalik Wayns (Villanova) has agreed to terms with Maccabi Rishon of Israel, per Amico Hoops.

Ex-Cavaliers summer squad forward Kenny Gabriel may be nearing a deal with Greek club Panathinaikos, per multiple reports.

Former NBA and D-League guard Corey Hawkins has signed with the Antwerp Giants of Belgium, per Amico Hoops.

Former Texas forward Gary Johnson has signed with Trouville of Uruguay, per Amico Hoops.

Ex-Iowa State center Jiri Hubalek has agreed to a contract with Italian club Imola, per Amico Hoops.

Former UTEP forward Omar Thomas has parted ways with Vanoli Cremona of Italy, per Amico Hoops. Thomas, 34, could sign with the Canton Charge, sources said.

For the latest D-League assignments and call-ups: Click here.

Wednesday's News

Cavaliers power forward Kevin Love hinted that the team's best play may be yet to come, per Cleveland.com.

Per the website/newspaper: "When asked what it will take for the Cavs to play more like the team that shredded the Pistons, 104-81, prior to this mini in-season break as opposed to being pushed by Orlando and Philadelphia, Love provided a simple explanation. 'Probably time,' he said. 'Really took us to get to the second half of the season and even the latter part of the season last year and into the playoffs to get to where we needed to be.'"

Love added: "I think it will just take time and hopefully rolling into the New Year, 30 or 40 games in, we will really look like ourselves and put together what we always talk about, 48 solid minutes.'" (Full report.)

LeBron James missed Cavs' practice Wednesday for deposition in former players' union chief Billy Hunter's lawsuit, per multiple reports.

Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said James is still expected to start in Wednesday's game vs. the Trail Blazers.

Lue and the Cavaliers (10-2) are happy with their fast start, but know the schedule will get tougher, per the Elyria Chronicle-Telegram.

The Cavs will wear their orange throwback uniforms six times this season, beginning Dec. 9, per the team.

Clippers point guard Chris Paul and power forward Blake Griffin say their relationship is better now than ever, per USA Today.

Pistons guard Reggie Jackson feels good and hopes to get on the court soon, per The Detroit News.

Pistons owner Tom Gores hired then-powerful player agent Arn Tellem in 2015 to help kickstart the team's move downtown, per The Detroit News.

Bucks big man Greg Monroe hasn't been a fit and could play potentially even less moving forward, per the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

The Bulls' decision to sign point guard Rajon Rondo ranks among the worst moves of the offseason, per Basketball Insiders.

Bulls guard Dwyane Wade says the Nuggets did a great job of recruiting him and he thinks they'll land a significant free agent in the near future, per The Denver Post.

Combo guard Garrett Temple has won over the Kings with his play and attitude, per the Sacramento Bee.

Hoops Rumors put together an excellent look at traded draft picks in 2017, and which teams may be impacted. View the complete list here.

Former NBA and D-League small forward Tony Mitchell has signed with Hapoel Eilat of Israel, per Amico Hoops.

Ex-Canton Charge and NBA guard Josh Akognon has agreed to sign with Lietuvos Rytas of Lithuania, per Amico Hoops.

Former St. Peter's power forward Marvin Dominique has agreed to a contract with the Horsholm 79ers of Denmark, per Amico Hoops.

Former Cal State-Northridge center Tre Hale-Edmerson has signed a one-year deal with German club Recklingshausen, per Amico Hoops.

AMICO'S TOP 10 D-LEAGUERS
1. Anthony Brown, G, Erie (called up); 2. Ray McCallum, G, Grand Rapids; 3. Briante Webber, G, Sioux Falls; 4. Vander Blue, G, LA D-Fenders; 5. Quinn Cook, G, Canton; 6. Manny Harris, G, Texas; 7. Lamar Patterson, SF, Reno; 8. P.J. Hairston, G, Rio Grande Valley; 9. Johnny O'Bryant, PF, Northern Arizona; 10. Spencer Dinwiddie, G, Windy City.

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