The Cleveland Cavaliers have become a powerhouse in the NBA once again, as they have gone to three straight NBA Finals now. They only have one ring to show for it, but getting there is still a major accomplishment. While a lot of this can be geared to LeBron James, the main reason the King wanted to join the Cavs was to play with young point guard Kyrie Irving.
Irving has grown into an elite guard and now that he sits as one of the best in the world, many feel that he will only continue to grow. The problem has been that he sees himself as a number one option and not the number two. To be fair to him, he might be just that. The ring that he does have came on the back of a run that both he and James put on. However, he is the one who hit the Game 7 three pointer to beat the Golden State Warriors last year.
This year, they lost to the Warriors but not due to Irving not putting up points. Many feel that Kyrie may not like his position with the Cavs however, as Irving is under a long-term deal and yet LeBron gets to pretty much go on one to two year options. Many feel James many even leave next year or even get traded, leaving Irving there to defend the land on his own. While some may love this if they want a number one option responsibility, it seems Kyrie no longer wants to be in Cleveland.
Kyrie Irving Demands Trade
According to ESPN, Kyrie Irving has asked for a trade from the Cavaliers. The request reportedly came last week and was made to the owner of the team, Dan Gilbert. Irving expressed to Dan that he wants to play in a situation where he can be more of a focal point of the team. On top of this, he claims according to sources that he no longer wants to play with LeBron James. While Irving’s agent Jeff Wechsler did not confirm nor deny the reports, it does seem to be true. Jeff spoke with ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, saying:
“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.”
The Cavs and GM David Griffen parted ways last month when an agreement to keep him in his role could not be reached. The Cavs have yet to name a replacement, and as of now everyone is still wondering what will happen with James. Kyrie wanting out is certainly shocking, but mostly to one man.
The Blindsided King
LeBron James was reportedly blindsided when he was informed of Kyrie Irving wishing to be traded. He was reportedly disappointed to hear of this as well. Other members of the team have become aware of the request made by Irving in recent days, with many wondering what the team will do about it.
To most, this did not seem to come as a surprise…if you go off of a recent interview Irving did with Sports Illustrated. There he claimed the Cavs were in a “peculiar” place this off-season. It was not as if he was lying either, as they have gone through free agency without a General Manager and have yet to really make any changes to the team. Irving told SI:
“I understand we’re in a very peculiar place. We just have to, you know, make sure that all our pieces are aligned first, and then we go from there. It’s the summertime, a lot of craziness going on in the NBA.”
What Will The Cavs Do About Kyrie?
Right now, Kyrie Irving is still involved in deal that has three years and $60 million remaining, of which won’t end until the 2019-2020 season. While it is a good deal of money, the new CBA allows for his deal to actually be quite manageable in trade talks. The former 2011, #1 Overall pick is clearly very young and could be an instant pick-up to any team he goes to. That said, moving Kyrie won’t be very difficult for the Cavs.
Right now, the question will just be where he’ll go and who will be traded for him. Last season might have been his best year yet, with Kyrie averaging a career high 25.2 points and 5.8 assists per game while shooting 40.1 percent on 3-pointers. For his career however, he has averaged 21.6 points, 3.4 rebounds and 5.6 assists per game. That said, regardless of when a team had him, they would get an elite player. On top of this, at just 25 he’s going to have a number of good years ahead.
On top of this, rumors have been flying that the Cavs have been in talks with veteran point guard Derrick Rose. Rose is a former NBA MVP, but after getting hurt a few years ago he has not been the same. He still shows sparks of this side, but not as much as one would hope. It seemed pretty obvious he could only sign for the league minimum if he did go to the Cavaliers. With Irving out, the team could possibly afford to hand out more. We should not expect to see him offered similar money to his last deal though.