We have a rumor out of Cleveland that doesn’t involve Kevin Love!
Multiple reports indicate Kyrie Irving is unhappy with his role in Cleveland; although, Kyrie has no beef with any of his teammates (particularly LeBron).
Whether Irving is listed as the point guard or not, when you play with James, you’re never really the PG. LBJ is going to be the primary ball handler no matter what. It’s not in Kyrie’s personality to cause a scene, but if his frustrations continue, it’s not crazy to think he’d ask out of Cleveland this summer.
Kyrie would only be one season into his very affordable 5-year/$90 million contract — making him very tradeable, especially with the cap skyrocketing. Teams would likely line up for Irving’s services, and if the Cavs are able to bring back a scorer that’s capable of playing off the ball while LeBron runs the show, there could be a match out there.
Here’s a few potential ideas:
We heard about a Love/‘Melo swap, but this one actually makes more sense. The Cavs would now have LeBron run the point and roll out an elite small-ball lineup. Anthony and Love can play the four and five, and if you add a couple of shooters to that lineup, everyone on the floor can shoot from deep when LeBron finds them.
The reason this makes sense for the Knicks is simply age. Irving is a better fit with Porzingis and gives New York some serious long-term hope. It would still be a work in progress, but the Knicks would be a player away from demanding some attention in the East.
The C’s are desperate for a talent upgrade and there’s no doubt Irving would be the most talented player on their roster. The price would be steep, though. Cleveland doesn’t want a package of draft picks, they want win-now players. Thomas does need the ball in his hands to score, but could be the perfect sixth-man for the Cavs. Bradley would fit in seamlessly as a lockdown defender and 3-point shooter.
The question for the Celtics is would this make the price too high? The trade probably makes them a worse team in the short-term, but the goal would be to attract more talent to play in the front court alongside Irving/Smart/Crowder. Boston would still have all its assets left to find that player, potentially before the season starts.
LeBron and D-Wade have done it together before, so if Kyrie’s not willing to be Robin, we know Wade is. Wade would have to agree to a sign and trade with Miami in the offseason, which would be controversial, but if it means another title he could be open to it.
Miami would likely have to send some extra compensation to Cleveland for upgrading to a much younger star, but it may be in the Heat’s best interest. Chris Bosh has continuing health issues and Goran Dragic hasn’t panned out for them. A rebuild may be in order and this would be a great start.
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