Kyrie Irving Asks Cleveland Cavaliers to Trade Him
This NBA offseason has been a whirlwind already, and we aren’t even through July yet. A host of star players have already changed teams, though a new name is reportedly potentially hitting the market. ESPN dropped a bombshell report on Friday afternoon that said Cleveland Cavaliers All-Star guard Kyrie Irving has requested a trade.
Despite having made three consecutive Finals appearances with Cleveland, including a title in 2016, Irving reportedly has grown weary of sharing the spotlight with LeBron James. The Cavaliers have endured a rocky offseason that saw general manager David Griffin ousted last month. The team has done little to improve its roster after losing in five games at the hands of the Warriors in the Finals.
Per ESPN’s report, James is “blindsided” by the news that Irving is seeking greener pastures elsewhere. The two have combined with Kevin Love to form one of the league’s most prolific cores since LeBron infamously returned to Cleveland from Miami in 2014.
Irving’s agent, Jeff Wechsler, confirmed the news to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst and Adrian Wojnarowski, “Kyrie and I had a meeting with Cavs leadership where we discussed many different scenarios in reference to Kyrie and his future with the team. The basis of those discussions and what went on in those discussions are between the Cavs and us. We are respectfully going to keep those private.”
Could LeBron James Leave Again?
This news comes amid murmurs that James could potentially leave the Cavaliers again once his current deal expires next season. If there is legitimate smoke to the fire, it makes plenty of sense that Irving would try and find himself a new home. Cleveland would likely go right back to being a lottery team if James were to leave again, and, obviously, Irving would rather compete than rebuild with the Cavaliers.
Irving has been through tough times with Cleveland already. The team made him the top overall pick in the 2011 draft after James fled town for Miami. The Cavs had one of the worst records in the league on an annual basis until LeBron’s return vaulted them to the top of the Eastern Conference.
Considering Irving is still only 25 and is under contract at a reasonable rate through the 2019-20 season, there will absolutely be no shortage of suitors if the Cavaliers are to try and trade him immediately. This offseason has already seen a fair share of trades involving superstars. Jimmy Butler went to Minnesota, Paul George went to Oklahoma City and Chris Paul went to Houston.
Potentially trading Kyrie would also help the Cavaliers retool in the event that James does decide to leave as a free agent in the summer of 2018.
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