We’re into the 3rd day of August, and all of the drama surrounding Kyrie Irving wanting to get away from the Cleveland Cavaliers is subsiding. He probably still wants to leave, but despite interest from a number of teams and the potential connection with the Minnesota Timberwolves and Phoenix Suns, nothing seems to be moving towards a trade actually being made.
The Cavaliers aren’t in any rush to trade Irving, considering his deal doesn’t expire until 2019. There’s some disarray within the organization, but I don’t think that’s why Irving hasn’t been traded yet. They’re simply waiting for the right offer, and it hasn’t come yet.
What is the right offer? A young, potential franchise player coming their way. If we’re talking about the Timberwolves, it’s hard to believe the Cavaliers deal with them without Andrew Wiggins being included in some sort of deal. I don’t think anyone is imagining Karl-Anthony Towns can be a part of the trade, but there has to be Wiggins there. The Timberwolves have Jeff Teague on the team, which is interesting if they land Kyrie to play next to him or in front of him.
As for the Suns, they’re a popular team to mention when it comes to big trades, with them or through them as a third team. If the Cavaliers trade with the Suns, the popular trade being mentioned is Eric Bledsoe and rookie Josh Jackson, but the Suns aren’t going to trade Jackson, not right now. Another player the Suns wouldn’t mind having is Devin Booker, but that’s not happening either. The Suns might have lost their incentive to trade even Bledsoe after Brandon Knight went down with an injury.
Draft picks, obviously, will also be part of any deal for Irving unless the player-package is really overwhelming. But I think teams view Irving as a sidekick to LeBron James – a very talented scorer, but not someone who can lead a franchise built around him to title contention. That’s probably the biggest debate regarding Irving’s value at the moment. Playing next to someone as dominant as James always makes it hard to gauge how good someone really is. The Cavaliers, at least going by what they’re demanding, think quite highly of him.