By: John Morgan Francis
Brian Windhorst of ESPN reported Friday afternoon that Kyrie Irving told the Cleveland Cavaliers he would like to be traded. Irving has two years left on his current contract which pays him roughly $18 million each season. Irving’s reason for the trade request was that he is tired of being in Lebron’s shadow and wants to be “the guy.” Irving also listed Miami, Minnesota, New York and San Antonio as preferred landing spots. Here are some scenarios the Cavaliers, and whoever is making the GM-like calls for the club, may be speculating.
Boston Celtics, Cleveland Cavaliers & Denver Nuggets
Celtics Receive: Kyrie Irving
Cavaliers Receive: Gary Harris, Jameer Nelson, Trey Lyles & Wilson Chandler
Nuggets Receive: Isaiah Thomas & Jae Crowder
This shouldn’t strike anyone. As the Celtics have the most assets arguably in NBA history, they’re sure to be mentioned in any and all trade rumors. With that being said, however, I don’t have them including any of their prized assets. Boston lets go of two fan favorites, including their ALL-NBA point guard, but receive one in return who is under contract for two more years instead of Thomas’ one. Cleveland prepares for another title run but also for post-Lebron era as Gary Harris is a rising star in the NBA. Denver has to give up a few players but it’s worth the prize of the NBA’s best contract along with their new franchise point guard.
Cleveland Cavaliers & Miami Heat
Cavaliers Receive: Goran Dragic & Justice Winslow
Heat Receive: Kyrie Irving
As we saw with Paul George, stars asking to be traded reduces their value and what teams receive for them. Cleveland manages to come out of this trade with a B, however, as Dragic is a very capable point guard in the NBA and Winslow is a great defensive wing they can have in the Cavaliers future. The Heat, however, jump into the playoff race with an elite point guard and face of the franchise (just what Irving wanted.)
Cleveland Cavaliers & Phoenix Suns
Cavaliers Receive: Dragan Bender & Eric Bledsoe
Suns Receive: Kyrie Irving
This is actually my favorite of the three speculated trade ideas. I like Bledsoe a lot more than Dragic and I think Bender has much more upside than Winslow. They also come at a cheaper combined price for Cleveland’s books. I also like this, a lot, for the Suns. Phoenix now has a very talented roster and in 1-2 years could provide something special for Arizona.