Although the Toronto Raptors just signed Kyle Lowry to a three-year, $100 million extension, general manager Bobby Webster revealed the front office has discussed the prospect of trading for Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving.
Webster said the Raptors called the Cavs merely to cover all of their bases.
“We all do our due diligence,” he said in an interview with TSN 1050’s Michael Landsberg and Matt Cauz (via TheScore’s John Chick). “Things don’t always make sense, but if they do, we’re always prepared. … A lot of talk that we do … doesn’t really see the light of day. … When a player like that becomes available, you’d be remiss not to call.”
It’s not shocking the Raptors weighed all options after ESPN.com’s Brian Windhorst reported Irving was seeking a trade away from the Cavaliers.
Irving is a four-time All-Star who turned 25 in March. He averaged 21.6 points a game and shot 38.3 percent from beyond the arc through his first six years in the league.
Especially after the Indiana Pacers and Chicago Bulls traded Paul George and Jimmy Butler, respectively, for pennies on the dollar, an NBA GM wouldn’t be doing his job if he didn’t at least feel out the Cavaliers front office. Also worth mentioning is the fact the Cavs didn’t have a GM until hiring Koby Altman on July 24, over a month after David Griffin’s departure.
The odds of the Raptors actually landing Irving are slim. Not only is Lowry signed for the next three years, Toronto almost certainly doesn’t have the pieces to complete the trade with Cleveland.
ESPN.com’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported the Cavs see the Irving trade as a way to rebuild should LeBron James leave. The likes of Bruno Caboclo, Norman Powell, Jakob Poeltl and OG Anunoby—Toronto’s best young players—aren’t exactly the kind of promising stars around whom a franchise can build.
(h/t Joseph Zucker of BleacherReport)