The rumors are true. No, the earth isn’t flat. No, Kevin Durant doesn’t think Kyrie Irving is better than Allen Iverson. But, Irving has demanded a trade out of Cleveland. After being told numerous times that the offense would be run through him, Lebron James is still the primary ball handler. Just weeks after being announced the NBA 2k18 cover athlete, Kyrie Irving wants out of Cleveland.
He has stated that the teams he would be most interested in playing for are the Knicks, Timberwolves, Heat, and of course the Spurs. Personally, I love the idea of Kyrie playing in New York next to Porzingis, but that’s the Cavs’ decision to make.
I have put together a list of possible moves using the ESPN Trade Machine, however.
Kyrie Irving to the New York Knicks
Of all the teams that Irving listed, this is the most probable option. Irving and Porzingis could be special playing under the lights of Madison Square Garden. The trade makes a lot of sense for both teams.
Cavaliers Recieve: Carmelo Anthony, Frank Ntilikina, 2019 First Round Pick
Knicks Recieve: Kyrie Irving, Iman Shumpert
This trade makes a lot of sense for the Cavaliers. It puts them in a good position to make a pitch to Lebron to stay acquiring Carmelo Anthony. It also puts them in a good position for life after Lebron acquiring Ntilikina and a first round pick. Shumpert is involved in the move to make the salaries work out but still is a solid role player. He and Tim Hardaway Jr. both played in New York in the past as well, so a potential reunion in New York would keep the longtime fans happy.
Kyrie Irving to the Minnesota Timberwolves
This trade may be the least probable of the four. The Timberwolves just acquired Jimmy Butler to be their star to play alongside their up and coming stars: Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins. While Kyrie joining this young force in the west may be scary, it wouldn’t make a lot of sense.
Cavaliers Recieve: Andrew Wiggins, Cole Aldrich, Nemanja Bjelica, 2018 First Round Pick, Two Future Second Round Picks
Timberwolves Recieve: Kyrie Irving, Edy Tavares
Like I said, this doesn’t make a whole lot of sense for either team. I would imagine Jimmy Butler and Karl-Anthony Towns are untouchable, so Andrew Wiggins is the Wolves’ best asset. Cole Aldrich and Nemanja Bjelica are just there to make contracts work; A team with a lot of salary cap would probably take on Cole Aldrich’s contract for one of the future second round picks anyway. Edy Tavares is only thrown in to potentially help the Wolves with their inside defense. He just seems like the type of guy to be traded and break out somewhere.
Kyrie Irving to the Miami Heat
This is another somewhat probable move. After failing to make the postseason despite finishing the year 30-11, Pat Riley is probably itching to make a move to find the next star. Dion Waiters and Kyrie Irving could potentially reunite in Miami.
Cavaliers Recieve: Goran Dragic, Justise Winslow, 2019 First Round Pick
Heat Recieve: Kyrie Irving
There aren’t a ton of bells and whistles attached to this trade. Once again, the Cavaliers are trying to stay competitive with Dragic, and preparing for the future with Winslow and the first round pick. I could imagine this exact trade going down. Kyrie Irving, Dion Waiters, and Hassan Whiteside would make up one of the most entertaining big threes in the league.
Kyrie Irving to the San Antonio Spurs
I don’t think Kyrie Irving fits in very well with the Spurs system. While he and Kawhi Leonard both score a lot, Kawhi does it in a more “team-first” way. He passes up good shots for great shots. While Kyrie Irving may not always take the best shots, you can’t deny he is still an awesome scorer. There is also a third team involved in this trade to make more sense.
Cavaliers Recieve: Danny Green (Spurs), Dejounte Murray (Spurs), Eric Bledsoe (Suns), 2018 First Round Pick (Spurs)
Spurs Recieve: Kyrie Irving (Cavaliers), Iman Shumpert (Cavaliers)
Suns Recieve: Lamarcus Aldridge (Spurs), Future Second Round Pick (Spurs)
This is by far my favorite scenario, as it really helps every team involved. Eric Bledsoe has been referred to as “Baby Lebron” in the past for his domination inside and driving abilities. He and Lebron James could be a nightmare for teams inside, and Kevin Love would also fit much better in that system. Danny Green would be another important shooter in that system now that Shumpert would be gone. The Suns were extremely interested in making Lamarcus Aldridgetheire teams’ star in the 2015 offseason. There were rumors swirling earlier this offseason stating that he was unhappy with the touches he was recieving in San Antonio. It’s safe to say he would fit well next to Devin Booker, Dragan Bender, and the rest of Phoenix’s young core.