As the Cleveland Cavaliers weigh their options regarding Kyrie Irving, it’s clear that there’s no shortage of potential suitors for the disgruntled All-Star point guard.
Adrian Wojnarowski reports that 20 teams have inquired about Irving, and six have made an offer (via ESPN):
So far, these are among the teams who’ve made offers to the Cavaliers for Irving, league sources tell ESPN: The San Antonio Spurs, LA Clippers, Phoenix Suns, Minnesota Timberwolves, New York Knicks and Miami Heat. There were approximately 20 teams that inquired with Cleveland upon the news of Irving’s trade request, league sources said, but far fewer have registered legitimate proposals. More loom in the shadows, and many interested simply don’t have the assets to make a deal happen.
According to the report, the Cavaliers would prefer to receive a package similar to what the Denver Nuggets received for Carmelo Anthony when he was traded to the Knicks.
Wojnarowski described these assets as “young players, win-now veterans and draft picks” so teams are expected to have this readily available to satisfy the needs of Cleveland.
While we do not know what kind of offers the Spurs and Clippers have made for Irving, here is what we can deduce about the other teams involved.
The ESPN story indicates that teams are trying to offer Cleveland a package similar to what the Timberwolves provided the Bulls for Jimmy Butler.
It’s unclear if Minnesota has the assets to bring Irving to the team, though Andrew Wiggins (originally drafted by the Cavaliers) may be enough to get a deal done.
Brian Windhorst recently spoke about the potential for an agreement (via ESPN):
“I know if the Wolves would be willing to include Andrew Wiggins – and I don’t know if they will; I was told that they weren’t willing to [include Wiggins] for Jimmy Butler – then I think this deal could get done. But you could present very strong cases both ways. So I’m not saying which way I think it would go.”
Otherwise, after trading for Butler, the Timberwolves likely do not have what it takes to acquire Irving.
New York Knicks
The Knicks are reportedly a team Irving favors; he was raised in nearby New Jersey and could be a favorable pairing with Kristaps Porzingis.
According to Stephen A. Smith, New York would be willing to give up anyone but Porzingis in the deal. However, their roster isn’t fully enticing after the Latvian-born big man is excluded.
Wojnarowski speculates that the Cavaliers and Heat seem unlikely to come to terms on a trade due to tension between the franchises. (via ESPN):
The Miami Heat are willing to part with Goran Dragic and Justise Winslow as centerpieces for an Irving trade, league sources said. With the Cleveland-Miami history, there’s little chance for a deal unless the Heat offered an overwhelming package.
Miami likely does not have the rights to a first-round draft pick until 2020.
Of course, if the Suns change their mind, they would be the most likely team to have the aforementioned assets for Cleveland.
Eric Bledsoe, who would be included in a deal, has worked out with James this offseason. Bledsoe and James share an agent at Klutch Sports.
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