"Irving has said that he wants to play in a situation where he can be more of a focal point and that he no longer wants to play alongside LeBron James, sources said", Windhorst reported on Friday. Hopefully, Kyrie Irving realizes what he's asking for by requesting to play for NY.
After the Boston-Brooklyn trade for Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, unprotected picks are rarely, if ever, transferred in deals.
Free-agent point guard Derrick Rose (right) has signed with the Cleveland Cavaliers and could team up with LeBron James. So if those are the teams Kyrie wants to go too, it would behoove the Cavs and the potential trade partner to make it happen. They'll certainly find interest in Irving, but it may be challenging to find comparable talent in return. He is also not a pass first point guard since his penetrations are hell bent on scoring instead of passing to the open man. Originally, the San Antonio Spurs might have been front runners, at least in Irving's consideration.
But what if every team decided they wanted to get in on the Irving sweepstakes, making it so the trade market for Irving became more robust as teams were bidding against on another? While the Heat have already traded their 2018 and 2021 draft picks, and are prohibited from trading their 2019 or 2020 picks thanks to the Stepian Rule, they could still offer this season's first-round pick, Bam Adebayo, after July 31 or more established players.
It is hard to imagine other teams on that list putting together an offer that could top Miami's or Phoenix's. The veteran All-Star forward has reportedly said he prefers the Houston Rockets as his sole trade destination. The Clippers have nearly no young prospects to offer and can't trade Blake Griffin, the team's centerpiece, until mid-season.
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It is understandable that Irving wants a trade given the Cavs' offseason of disarray.
Irving is only 25 years old and in the prime of his career. It is rare for a player of that caliber and age to hit the market.
He has two seasons left on his contract and a player option for 2019. Any team acquiring him would not just be getting a rental like the Thunder did with Paul George.
According to the Atlantic's Jason Lloyd (h/t Jordan Zirm), the Cavaliers have not been able to get in touch with Irving in any way possible since he handed in his trade request. The Timberwolves appear to be on the rise and recently added Irving's good friend and workout partner Jimmy Butler.
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