Shocking news broke out on social media today, where Kyrie Irving has reportedly requested a trade from the Cleveland Cavaliers. This story just adds to the poor offseason the Cavaliers have had thus far. Kyrie wasn’t excited about where the team was at a few days ago, and it seems he wants no part of it anymore. This news was apparently “shocking” to LeBron, and he wasn’t expecting the news. This report can also explain why they want to bring in free agent Derrick Rose. The biggest team that Kyrie listed as a possible destination was the San Antonio Spurs, along with the New York Knicks, Miami Heat, and Minnesota Timberwolves. If the Cavaliers do fulfill Kyrie’s request to be traded, where will he go?
The San Antonio Spurs would have no issue bringing Kyrie onto their team. The tandem of Kawhi and Kyrie would immediately make them one of the best duos in the game today. Kyrie would help the Spurs take down the Warriors over in the West since he’s had plenty of battles with the defending champs over the past few years. Gregg Popovich would make Kyrie into a much better player than he is now, believe it or not, and will give Kyrie the opportunity to win many more titles before his young career comes to an end. The only issue is this: what do the Spurs have to offer? A package of Patty Mills, Dejounte Murray, Danny Green, and a few first round picks may not be what the Cavs are looking for. Then again, since teams know Kyrie wants out, the asking price may be low, so who knows. I can imagine the Cavs asking for LaMarcus Aldridge in return, so they can at least get a former All-Star back.
The Minnesota Timberwolves would be scary good if they landed Kyrie. Add the 25-year-old Kyrie to a team with a 21-year-old Karl-Anthony Towns and a 22-year-old Andrew Wiggins would be a deadly big three. And did I forget to mention they also added All-Star Jimmy Butler? What a big four that would be. For this trade to go down, Cleveland would try to pry away newly signed Jeff Teague, if possible, along with Tyus Jones and center Gorgui Dieng, as well as draft picks. I can’t see Minnesota parting ways with any of their young core. Karl-Anthony Towns is untouchable, and Wiggins is right up there as well. If Cleveland wants to trade with Minnesota, they got to hope they get decent draft picks in return, because the player returns may not be as enticing as other trade partners.
A Kyrie trade to the New York Knicks may make the most sense from Cleveland’s standpoint. Trading Kyrie to the Knicks means they would get Carmelo Anthony in return, along with draft picks and other players, perhaps Willy Hernangomez and Courtney Lee. The Knicks finally get a player to build around, although they just drafted a point guard, and Cleveland gets to pair LeBron with best friend Carmelo Anthony and get to keep Kevin Love. The point guard position would be thin, but that’s when Derrick Rose comes in. Ultimately I think Rose will come to Cleveland regardless, but a Kyrie trade would bolster those odds. Derrick Rose, Courtney Lee, Lebron, Melo, and Love would be an interesting lineup for sure.
Why wouldn’t Kyrie want to be traded to Miami? He’d be in South Beach with former teammate Dion Waiters and dominant center Hassan Whiteside. He’ll be coached by one of the best coaches in the league Erik Spoelstra and help make Miami a playoff team once again. Goran Dragic, Justice Winslow, and maybe Tyler Johnson along with draft picks would be one of the better offers the Cavs would get from any team. Cleveland would land an underrated starting point guard who averaged over 20 points a game and averaged more assists than Kyrie last season, a solid backup small forward for LeBron, and assets moving forward. Kyrie would play alongside Dion, James Johnson, Kelly “The Clinic” Olynyk, and Whiteside. Miami could be the best trade partner for Cleveland, but who knows how much they’d be willing to give up for a player that requested a trade from his team. You can say that about any of the other teams that’d be interested, too.
The news of Kyrie wanting to be traded is shocking, but it makes the news of Derrick Rose coming to Cleveland make more and more sense. Derrick Rose is Cleveland’s plan B if Kyrie is gone. I’m sure Cleveland would look for a decent starting point guard in return in any trade, but if they can’t then Derrick Rose will be available for them.
Kyrie saying he doesn’t want to play next to LeBron anymore makes little sense to some people, but a whole world of sense to others. Playing next to LeBron in the East means you’ll most likely make the Eastern Conference Finals every season and then the NBA Finals. But playing next to LeBron also means that you won’t be the first option and have no spotlight next to LeBron. It’s all LeBron, LeBron, LeBron. Kyrie wants to be in the spotlight. He won his championship, now he seeks to be the face of a franchise, which I understand completely. Kyrie is 25 and just about to enter the prime of his career. He doesn’t want to waste it in Cleveland as LeBron’s sidekick.
The next question is, how will this news affect LeBron’s free agency decision next offseason? Does this give LeBron more reason to leave and go elsewhere, or will he still stay even if Kyrie is traded? Media was already going nuts over LeBron joining a young team and leaving Cleveland once again, but this story just adds fuel to the fire. We’ll get more news on that as this story plays out.
It’d be weird seeing Kyrie in any jersey other than a Cleveland one, but a change of scenery could be good for him. We shall see if any of the teams he requested to go to will make a move for him, or a darkhorse team will come in and make a godfather offer for him. Kyrie doesn’t have a no-trade clause, so Cleveland can just trade him to any team that gives the best offer. This breaking news is still developing, so as the hours and days go by, more details will come about and the fans will have a better understanding of how this will play out.