I think there is a great possibility that the LeBron-Kyrie relationship has deteriorated to a degree in which LeBron is not gonna beg for the point guard to stay in Cleveland, but I highly doubt they would ever come to blows.
The Cavs are continuing to shop Kyrie, though it doesn’t appear as though any trade is imminent.
LeBron James makes an interesting song choice after Kyrie Irving's trade demand. 👀🤔
Let’s rewind to 2013. Kyrie Irving is the cornerstone of the Cleveland Cavaliers and his teammates are Dion Waiters, Tristan Thompson, Andrew Bynum, Spencer Hawes, and Luol Deng — a nice mix young players and veterans.
Irving led that team to a 32-50 finish and the Cavs were mathematically eliminated from the playoffs in March.
That was the last season when Kyrie had “the team to himself.” He was the best player, he dominated the ball, and he took all of the big shots.
The next season, LeBron James returned home and everything changed. LeBron dominated the ball, he garnered all of the attention and Kyrie was left to play second fiddle. But you know what else happened: the Cavs won big.
They made the Finals in 2015, 2016 and 2017, winning it all in 2016.
Now, ESPN and multiple outlets are reporting that Kyrie has asked the Cavs front office for a trade. Uncle Drew thinks he’s ready to lead a club all on his own.
I’ve watched Kyrie closely over the last three years and while he’s an amazing talent I don’t think he will ever be able to do that.
Night to night, Kyrie won’t be able to put a team on his back, play both ends of the court while making plays for himself and others. LeBron was the perfect player for Irving to play with because all he had to worry about was going out and getting buckets.
LeBron was the playmaker and Irving was the finisher. Case in point, Game 7 of the Finals in 2016.
Here’s a little sneak peak of how Kyrie fared without LeBron. Last season, the Cavs were outscored by 90 points in 574 minutes when Irving played and James didn’t.
In the playoffs, they were outscored by 30 points in 61 minutes. In the NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors, the Cavs were outscored 37-13 when Irving was on the court and James was off. SHEEEEESH. Hey Kyrie, looks like you need LeBron.
I’m interested in seeing what Kyrie’s trade value is. Irving thinks he’s a top-15 player, but he isn’t. In 2016, the Cavs fared better with Matthew Dellavedova on the court instead of Kyrie.
I honestly believe a Patrick Beverley type of point guard will give the Cavs a better chance to beat the Warriors.
Kyrie is an amazing offensive force who can score from anywhere on the court but he gives up so much on the other end, I’m not sure it’s worth it.
Remember last year against the Celtics and Warriors when Ty Lue had to scrap their defensive game plan because Kyrie was dying on every screen, leading to open shots all over the court?
(Yes, I also remember when he scored 42 points in Game 4 and saved them.)
I love Kyrie’s game and watching him play is certainly entertaining but I’m skeptical that he will ever learn to play passable defense or become a true point guard who involves his teammates every night.
So if Kyrie is bolting from the comfy confines of Northeast Ohio, where could he end up?
Also keep in mind Kyrie has a 15 percent trade kicker but no no-trade clause so wherever the Cavs send him is where he ends up.
Los Angeles Clippers
The Clippers could use the assets they obtained from the Chris Paul trade and flip them for Kyrie. I mentioned Beverley earlier but they could also include DeAndre Jordan, Sam Dekker, and a draft pick.
The Clippers would then have a core of Irving, Blake Griffin, and Danilo Gallinari. While the Cavs could look to attach Tristan Thompson to that deal to avoid redundancy with Jordan.
The Cavs might miss Irving’s scoring punch but they could make Kevin Love more of a focal point on offense.
San Antonio Spurs
Kyrie told the Cavs that he would prefer to go San Antonio but they will have to involve a third team in this trade because they don’t possess the assets to make a move for Irving.
They could start with Dejounte Murray but then where do they go from there?
I also think Gregg Popovich would hate coaching Kyrie, an isolation heavy player who still has no clue how to play defense.
This trade makes the most sense for the Cavs.
The Suns could include, Eric Bledsoe (a Klutch sports client), a nice young wing player like T.J. Warren and a draft pick.
I think that would satisfy the Cavs and would be a win-win for both teams.
The Nuggets could send Jamal Murray, Juan Hernangomez, and Wilson Chandler to Cleveland in exchange for Irving.
The Nuggets could then go forward with Kyrie, Paul Millsap, and Nikola Jokic. That would be an interesting team
New York Knicks
YOOO: HE’S NOT GOING TO THE KNICKS. But since he said he would like to play in New York, I’ll include them. The main issue is, what could the Knicks offer besides Carmelo?
Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert is a very rich man. Sadly, he is not a very wise man.
Cavs fans know Gilbert is willing to open his wallet to pay players and go deep into the luxury tax to field a competitive team. But Gilbert has a tough time getting out of his own way.
During his 12-year tenure as the Cavs owner, Gilbert has penned “The Letter,” fired four general managers and five coaches, and most recently he pulled out all the stops to make Cleveland a desirable destination for the Republican National Convention.
Gilbert is not a prudent man. He is also a staunch Republican, which isn’t surprising due to the fact he is a rich white guy who made his fortune selling crappy mortgages to poor people. But in a league that is roughly 75 percent African-American, being so openly conservative could hurt the Cavs’ chances of signing star players.
So when Gilbert joined the Chicago Cubs yesterday at the White House to celebrate their World Series victory and was seen joking with President Donald Trump, it made my stomach churn.
Not only did the Cubs beat the hometown Cleveland Indians in the World Series, but Gilbert’s star player LeBron James, who is set to become a free agent next summer, has campaigned on behalf of former President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Yesterday on ESPN’s The Jump, Brian Windhorst reported that players around the league were shocked to see Gilbert acting so chummy with the President. And frankly, so was I.
Man, what is he doing? He just fired GM Dave Griffin, who led the Cavs to three straight Finals appearances and one championship, but has yet to find his replacement. Now, free agency is just days away and he thinks hanging at the White House is the best use of his time.
It all felt inevitable and yet, when it actually happened, when the Warriors were pulling away in the 4th quarter, it was pretty weird to watch.
It just felt like every time the Cavaliers got close, Kevin Durant would come down and hit a three, or post up and hit one of those Dirk fallaways, or just get right to the basket.
It didn’t matter who was guarding him, KD was not going to be denied last night. After spending all summer, all year, hearing critics talk shit about his decision to join the Warriors, Kevin Durant wanted to show why he joined the Warriors in the first place.
The morning after, it feels like everyone is still re-ligitating Durant’s decision to move to the Bay from Oklahoma City last year, which kind of misses the point.
Whether you think Durant was right or wrong to go to the Warriors, if you’re a basketball fan, these games have been absolutely ridiculous to watch. We’ve probably never seen a group of talent like what we saw last night ever on a basketball court.
LeBron James, the best player on the planet, had 41 points, 13 rebounds, and 8 assists, becoming the first player ever to average a triple double in the Finals. He got some help from Kyrie Irving and J.R. Smith, who had 26 and 25 each, but was let down by some of the other role players, including Kevin Love, who put up 6 points on 2-8 shooting.
LeBron threw some solid shade about the performance of others after the game, but we’ll get into that later.
Durant put up 39 points, Steph Curry threw up 34, and Andre Iguodola’s 20 point contribution rounded things out for the Warriors.
We are truly in a revolutionary period of basketball, LeBron and KD were playing center for minutes on end as both squads spread the floor and chucked up 3s.
While LeBron alluded to other players on his team not showing up in his postgame comments (Kevin Love, it’s quiet for you), the most interesting point he made was about the formation of “super teams”.
Although LeBron avoided that word specifically, he said teams are going to have to pull out all the stops in order to compete against the Dubs in the future.
An obviously rather sick LeBron said during his postgame press conference,
“Pretty much all [the Warriors’] big-name guys are in their 20s, and they don’t show any signs of slowing down. So there’s going to be a lot of teams that are trying to figure out ways to put personnel together to try and match that if they’re able to actually face them in a playoff series, both Eastern Conference and Western Conference. Because they’re built for — from my eyes — they’re built to last a few years. So we’ll see.”
The NBA will never not be entertaining, even when we’ve had the same matchup for three straight years in the Finals, even when the second best player in the league goes to the best team in the league, and even in the summer when there are no games.
There will be no shortage of narrative over the next couple of months as teams try to assemble their own super team to compete with the Warriors. Will Gordon Hayward go to the Celtics or Heat? Will Blake Griffin or Chris Paul leave for new opportunities? Could Melo or Paul George be on the move? What will the NBA Draft bring us? The NBA offseason might be more entertaining than the actual season anyway, I know I’m hype for free agency and the draft.
But there was plenty of #narrative last night. From LeBron refusing to lose against a team that was literally built to beat him, to KD going off and then getting too bopped, to Steve Kerr sobbing, to Kevin Love being trash, shit was popping off last night. Even if the series only went 5, shit was definitely entertaining.