Storyline: Kyrie Irving Trade?

199 rumors in this storyline

15 hours ago via ESPN
Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant isn’t surprised by the developments of Kyrie Irving wanting out of Cleveland, and out of the shadows of LeBron James. Trade requests occur routinely behind the scenes without anyone knowing, Durant said. “It’s just a regular NBA problem, right? A lot of teams have gone through this before,” Durant told ESPN. “They’ll figure it out. That’s a great organization, a championship organization. They’ll figure it out.”

More Rumors in this Storyline

As the world waits for the Cleveland Cavaliers to trade Kyrie Irving – there’s almost zero chance he starts the season on the Cavs roster – a possible kernel of hope for everyone in Ohio: Kyrie has been hanging out in Miami some this offseason, and LeBron may have spent some time there … so maybe the two met up? Woj went on ESPN radio this morning to address the rumors: “There’s always a lot of stuff that floats around on the internet … I don’t know of any meeting. I know they both spent time in Miami. I know Kyrie has been at the University of Miami working out over the last weeks … and LeBron spends some time there in the offseason too … it’s not inconceivable that they could cross paths somewhere. But it even if they did, it’s not going to change anything. To me, it doesn’t mean anything. I’m not sure there’s anything for them to talk out. Kyrie’s made his trade request, and it’s for reasons bigger than Lebron, and he’s not going to rescind that.”

For the teams looking to add Irving, locking him in before camp opens gives the acquiring team the best chance to fill in their roster around a ramped-up plan that includes Irving. League sources continue to label the Suns as the team with the right assets to obtain Irving, but they remain reluctant to include rookie Josh Jackson or third-year stud Devin Booker in any conversation. Jackson became trade eligible last week and recently joked at the Panini rookie photo shoot that he’d heard the rumors, but if it were going to happen, it would have happened by now.

“A little talking to my agent, not really checking social media, because that’t not the way to go. People just say whatever. I handled it the same way I tried to handle Draft Night. Coming in, I didn’t know what was going to happen, I still don’t know what is going to happen. I’m going to make the most of whatever situation I’m presented with. If I’m traded to China, whatever, I’m gonna come out, I’m gonna be happy, just try to make the best of it.

Vecsey said around the around one-hour-and-13-minute mark of the podcast that he has been told the Cavaliers point guard would like to play for the Los Angeles Clippers. Reporters have previously mentioned the Clippers “made an effort” for Irving. Vescey, who recently returned to NBA reporting and mentioned this in his recent Patreon column as well, indicates that Los Angeles is his preference. “He loves L.A. and he’s been working out there a lot this summer. Do they have the assets they get him? I don’t see how. But they also have Jerry West and he’s been able to figure out before … the Lakers didn’t have the assets to get Shaq and he wheeled and dealed and figured out and they got him … he was able to get Kobe for Divac in the draft.”

“It would help. I’m not against that,” Waiters said of a possible move by the Heat to acquire Irving. “Just know, there’s an alpha male over there too in myself. I think that’s the biggest thing with everybody – oh he’s got irrational confidence. Like I tell everybody man, I come from [Philadelphia]. If I can make it from here I can make it anywhere. My Mom got shot. My Dad got shot. Come on bro, ain’t nothing I ain’t ever seen. Why not? I need that confidence every day to get through. It’s got nothing to do with ball. It’s who I am. It was instilled in me. Just know there’s an alpha male over there already. [Irving] can come down and we can boogie together.”

On the heels of former Cavaliers general manager David Griffin declaring Kyrie Irving’s trade request “courageous,” Hall of Famer Charles Barkley took his turn Wednesday regarding Irving’s situation. “You want to be on a good team. You want to play with other great players. This notion where you want to be the man, I just think is so stupid,” Barkley said during an interview on NBA TV. “If I got a chance to play with another great player, I want to do that. The objective is to win.
2 weeks ago via ESPN

Former Cleveland Cavaliers general manager David Griffin said Monday that Kyrie Irving showed courage by asking for a trade. “He handled the situation exactly like he was supposed to,” Griffin said Monday on ESPN’s The Jump. “He went to [Cavs owner] Dan Gilbert privately, told him that he thought he would be happier somewhere else. The absolute worst thing this guy could have done was pretend to be all-in and sink the ship from within. Most guys don’t have the courage to do what he did.”
2 weeks ago via ESPN

Griffin said he thought Irving would end up getting traded, but would not speculate on where the Cavs All-Star point guard might go. He said both sides would be better if Irving were traded. “This is a guy whose list included really good coaching situations — Brad Stevens and [Gregg] Popovich. This is a guy who recruited LeBron [James], [Gordon] Hayward and a host of other free agents, and all of a sudden LeBron came back, so he was sold a totally different situation than he’s actually in, and he worked very well in, he won a championship in.”
2 weeks ago via ESPN

David Griffin: “I see this as him looking for a fit for himself, to take the next step in his career. I think this is a guy who wants to know how good he can be. LeBron casts a very large shadow over an organization. And most of it is really, really positive. You know you are expected to win a championship by way of example. But what that doesn’t always allow is for a player like Kyrie to test his boundaries and see how good he can really be, and can I really be the front man of a team like that.”

Harper, 53, who won five championships in his 15 years in the NBA after being selected No. 8 overall by the Cavs in 1986, is also baffled and can think of only one explanation. “Youth. Ignorance,” Harper said Sunday of Irving, 25, after signing autographs at the legends booth on Cavs day at the $9.75 million World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club. “When I used to play on bad teams and you trained all off-season to play 82 games, you get to the first round and you lose. You’re guaranteed to play till June. The East is good, but you know that you’re the best basketball team,” Harper said. “I don’t really understand what’s behind it.

Kyrie Irving requested a trade away from Cleveland, reportedly, in part, to get out of LeBron James’ shadow and be “The Guy” on his own team. Based on this footage of Irving playing pick-up ball in New Jersey, he appears ready to take on the role of alpha dog. One of his teammates was turning the ball over, which infuriated the Cavaliers point guard. “Bro, stop turning the ball over,” Kyrie says. “I’m not rewarding that. I’m not rewarding negative behavior.”

Rumors of dysfunction — amplified by reports that Kyrie Irving wants out — could put the Celtics in a more comfortable spot for conference supremacy. But Thomas isn’t fueling that fire. “I don’t really want to comment on that, I don’t know what’s going on over there,” he said. “I know just as much as everybody else knows. If (Irving) leaves, he leaves. If he doesn’t, then we know how good of a team they are, and we know how good of a player he is.”

One source whose team has been trying to find a way to deal for Irving said this week that there does not seem to be anything of a deadline for the Cavs to make a decision. While the Cavs have been very focused and professional in their talks, this particular team did not have any sense of where they stood in the Cavs process, describing them as in “fact finding mode,” not necessarily deal making mode. That can always change quickly, but there doesn’t seem to be much urgency to find closure.

Wall in many ways has what Irving wants. He is the face of a franchise and is treated as such. Meanwhile, Irving has a few things Wall himself covets. That duality was clear in Wall’s opinion on the matter, which he shared following the press conference to announce his new contract on Friday at the Verizon Center. “That was crazy to me. I didn’t know that was happening at all. Well, too bad,” Wall said of the timing. “It’s kinda tough. If I had been to three straight [NBA] Finals, I’d want to stay but you never know what type of relationship or what type of details they have going on the backside. Nobody knows what’s going on behind closed doors. He’s one of those guys who wants to be the main guy.

The Cleveland Cavaliers are not operating with any sense of urgency on finding a Kyrie Irving trade. League sources say they are continuing to field calls and talk through ideas, but that there is no sense of closure on the situation looming. In fact, there does not seem to be much urgency in how the Cavs are approaching the situation at all. One source whose team has been trying to find a way to deal for Irving said this week that there does not seem to be anything of a deadline for the Cavs to make a decision. While the Cavs have been very focused and professional in their talks, this particular team did not have any sense of where they stood in the Cavs process, describing them as in “fact finding mode,” not necessarily deal making mode. That can always change quickly, but there doesn’t seem to be much urgency to find closure.

League sources peg this trade as huge for the Cavaliers organization, and that newly appointed general manager Koby Altman has to get this trade right. Not only will the fruits of an Irving trade impact the upcoming NBA season, but it will have a sweeping impact on the future of Cavs star LeBron James. The prevailing belief is that if the Cavaliers are not back in the NBA Finals this year with a roster that can compete, it’s more likely LeBron exits Cleveland next summer. If Altman can pull off the right deal, he could not only cement the Cavs as the top team in the East this year, but if the Cavs can be competitive post-Irving, they may have a shot at keeping LeBron beyond his current contract.

Augustin said that teams around the East are waiting to see if the turmoil around the league results in All-Stars like Irving and Carmelo Anthony switching teams. If that does happen, it may open the door for new contenders to step into the picture. “It gives other teams hope,” Augustin said. “They see Kyrie may be leaving, they see Carmelo may be leaving. Teams are trying to build super teams now. That’s what’s going on…At the end of the day, whatever team you’re on you just have to concentrate on your team, don’t worry about nobody else and make your team as best as possible.”

Malik Beasley on Kyrie Irving being a possibility for the Nuggets: “I am kind of surprised just because it’s Denver; a lot of the top guys don’t usually want to [come]. I’m not saying we aren’t huge, but a lot of people don’t think Denver is that good because of how we’ve done in the past. Now, once people see that we’re doing well, they’re starting to come. It’s been happening, but it is kind of surprising like, ‘Yo, he might come play with me!’ I’m still young, so playing with these guys is incredible to me. … He’d definitely bring leadership. He’s won a championship already and been deep in the playoffs. He’d just bring that extra grind and everything that an All-Star brings to a team. I know for sure he can lead a team.”

The drama between Kyrie Irving, LeBron James and the Cavaliers has highlighted a thoroughly dysfunctional offseason in Cleveland. And one local news station didn’t exactly help the Cavaliers’ hopes of reconciling with Irving. Fox 8 in Cleveland released its new sports promo this week, and it not-so-subtly took shots at Irving for his desire to leave the Cavaliers.

Scottie Pippen: “I think it’s the perfect timing, Cleveland didn’t win a championship, they were right there, but there’s been a lot of things going on within that organization. LeBron doesn’t give those guys the security that they need, that the superstar is gonna be there and he’s gonna support us and I see Kyrie looking at the opportunity to run before LeBron runs, because there’s a lot of chatter out there that LeBron’s coming to play with the Lakers.”
3 weeks ago 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 simply don’t have the assets to make a deal happen.
3 weeks ago 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. Gilbert may have unwittingly thrust pressure onto Altman in a Wednesday news conference, declaring “Indiana could’ve done better” in its trade package for Paul George. The Cavaliers have more leverage in a deal because Irving has two years on his contract to George’s one.
3 weeks ago via ESPN

Indiana had Irving on its board as the No. 1 target for George, league sources said. The Pacers had a willingness to do a deal straight-up, but Cleveland declined several times, league sources said. What did nearly come together was a three-way trade that would’ve sent Kevin Love to the Denver Nuggets, Gary Harris to Indiana and George to the Cavaliers. Here’s where the deal fell apart, league sources said: Indiana wanted no protections on a future Cavaliers first-round pick. Cleveland balked, insisting the pick have lottery protection — and Indiana moved onto the Oklahoma City package of Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis.

The 2014 No. 1 pick arrived in Minnesota prior to his rookie season thanks to a summer trade with Cleveland. Kyrie Irving’s reported trade request has sparked speculation that the Timberwolves might trade Wiggins back to the Cavaliers in a deal for the All-Star point guard, but Wiggins refused to take questions on trade scenarios and maintained that he wants to play in Minnesota next season. Wiggins also spoke optimistically of his new pairing with Butler, saying that he felt the two scoring-minded wings would “complement each other’s game and make each other better,” and said that he has been placing special emphasis on his three-point shooting and ball-handling this summer.

Denver didn’t make Irving’s list, but former Nugget Mike Miller, who played with Irving in Cleveland during the 2014-15 season, says Irving would be interested in coming to the Nuggets. “I’ve already asked that question,” Miller said to Altitude Radio’s Scott Hastings and Jason Kosmicki about if Irving would entertain playing for the Denver Nuggets. “I don’t know if I can give you the answer but I’ve already asked that question. I think he will. I really do. Like anything else, when people look at cities, Denver’s an unbelievable city we all know that. And with what the organization has built there, he would be crazy not to and he’s definitely, definitely interested in it and I told him by putting this thing out there he has no choice.”

Alex Kennedy‏: .@APkrawczynski reports Wolves are seriously exploring Kyrie Irving deals. Here’s Jamal Crawford discussing Kyrie’s interest in Minnesota: Jamal Crawford on Kyrie Irving being interested in Minnesota: “I think it’s great. I think now, and in the future, it’ll continue to be a destination that guys want to come to. They have a great fan base. When I was there last week, you could just feel the electricity. You can see how excited they are, how hungry they are, to have a really good basketball team. I think it’s a great place to play. Players want to go play with other great players and they want to be a part of something that’s bigger than themselves. To see [the Wolves] linked to a guy like Kyrie Irving, a player of his stature, is cool. It shows that other people think we’re going to be good. It’s sort of validating; I saw the same thing and that’s why I want to be here…. I’ve known Kyrie a long time.”
3 weeks ago via ESPN

This is significant, because the best offer the Knicks can make in a trade for Irving is a package centered around Anthony. As was reported on Saturday, New York is not interested at this point in including Kristaps Porzingis in any trade for Irving. Some in the Knicks organization would trade Anthony and multiple first-round picks for Irving (though there is not uniform agreement on the idea of dealing multiple first-round picks in any trade at the moment, according to people familiar with the Knicks’ thinking).

While he said he didn’t speak with LeBron James until after he removed his name from consideration, Billups said he wasn’t bothered about the idea of James leaving Cleveland and called rebuilding a “beautiful” thing. However, he said their lack of assets was a more concerning dilemma. But the most interesting point of the interview was when Billups spoke about Irving. When asked if he was surprised about the recent rumors, he then took a deep breath and said no. “As they were doing their due dilligence on me, I was doing the same thing. I knew so much about the situation that the rest of the world doesn’t know. But that’s unfortunate, man. Because he’s a special talent and in my opinion, so much of what he’s been able to accomplish on and off the floor has been a beneficary of having LeBron James, man.”

One league source, who has been involved in some of the due diligence on a trade for Irving, said the Cavs had heard from basically every team in the league in some capacity, with some teams being more aggressive in their pursuit of an Irving deal than others. It’s believed the Cavs are seeking at least one proven veteran who can play and contribute right away as well as a younger rising talent player still on a rookie scale deal. Another stated goal is to dump off some salary and reduce the luxury tax bill.

“I feel bad for whatever is going on in Cleveland. I assume where there’s smoke there’s fire,” Silver said during a wide-ranging interview on The Rich Eisen Show Monday. “It’s upsetting to when you see superstar players who have coexisted and have had so much success together — three Finals in a row and one championship — to hear that for whatever reason there is a sense that they can’t continue to coexist. “Yeah, that’s drama. But it’s not necessarily the kind of drama that the league wants.”
4 weeks ago via ESPN

Cleveland Cavaliers forward Richard Jefferson said that Kyrie Irving’s search for a more stable situation by requesting a trade is understandable considering the state of the Cavs’ franchise. “I think Kyrie is a hyper-intelligent kid,” Jefferson said on the latest episode of his “Road Trippin'” podcast, released Monday. “Really, really smart. Doesn’t get enough credit for how smart he is, and I think seeing that the franchise is in flux, I think seeing (David Griffin) leave and the amount of coaches … I think Kyrie has had a much tougher time in this stretch of the organization than anyone ever wants to ever really fully (recognize).”
More HoopsHype Rumors
August 18, 2017 | 8:42 am EDT Update
NBA deputy commissioner Mark Tatum made it pretty clear in a letter to sports commission president and CEO David Gilbert on July 19: If construction on the proposed Quicken Loans Arena transformation project doesn’t begin by Sept. 15, Cleveland won’t be considered to host the 2020 or ’21 NBA All-Star Game. Last week, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled that Cleveland City Council Clerk Pat Britt must accept the petitions submitted by a coalition that opposes tax dollars being used to fund half of the cost of the proposed $140 million upgrade. The next step is determining whether the referendum will be placed on the November ballot, or if it will be part of a special election early in 2018, which would cost Cleveland taxpayers another $763,600.
Storyline: All-Star Location
Wanda Durant trailed her son Thursday from her own convertible Corvette, waving and shouting out to friends on the sidewalk and beaming all the way. This is a community that doesn’t care where Durant plays, only that he represents them well in whichever uniform he chooses. Durant proved strong enough to handle the barbs and will soon own a ring for his perseverance. “It was difficult to see, to hear,” Wanda Durant told The Vertical about the negativity her son had to endure in the past year. “And I still read the stuff on social media. It’s crazy. But I didn’t have the immediate notion to protect him, because he’s a man. He made a decision and that reaction came with the decision. So it was a part of him solidifying who he is as a man, to take the ridicule, to accept it and deal with it and move on from it. I didn’t like it as his mom. There were times I rebutted some of it – quite nicely, I think, honestly. But I didn’t want to protect him. He stood up and you have to show them who you are.”
On Thursday, he used his time within miles of the White House to twice blast Donald Trump. First telling TMZ, “We don’t [expletive] with him,” and expounding on those comments to ESPN. “Kevin has always allowed his personality and his game to speak for him,” Wanda Durant told The Vertical. “He’s a little more vocal now than he was then, but that’s not surprising, either, because he was very vocal at home, as a kid, where he was comfortable, in close quarters.”
August 18, 2017 | 6:38 am EDT Update
So now it’s mid-August and Muhammad — a 24-year-old who can score and should still be improving — remains a free agent and shows up on a lot of those “best remaining NBA free agent” lists. If he was hoping to cash in this offseason, that prospect seems far less likely by the day. Muhammad might be in a spot soon where he has to take a short-term “prove-it” deal in hopes of improving his leverage the next time he’s a free agent. That makes a tweet last night from another new Wolves signee — guard Jamal Crawford — pretty interesting. In it, he implores Muhammad to “c’mon back home,” presumably meaning back to the Timberwolves.
Storyline: Shabazz Muhammad Free Agency