The Phoenix Suns are rumored to be deep in the hunt for Cleveland Cavalier star Kyrie Irving, but the teams may have run into a roadblock that would prevent the potential trade from going through.
Since word leaked out last month that Irving was demanding a trade, more than a dozen teams have reportedly expressed some level of interest in the deal. It doesn’t appear that the Cavs have gotten very far in negotiations with any of them, though in recent days there has been increasing chatter about a trade with the Suns that would send Bledsoe to Cleveland.
The trade makes sense for both teams involved, giving Kyrie Irvin the chance to lead an up-and-coming team and get out of the shadow of LeBron James, and sending a talented guard (one coming off a career high season in points per game) to the Cavaliers to keep them a top contender in the Eastern Conference.
But there may be a hitch in this NBA trade rumor, the Sporting News reported. The Suns are reportedly refusing to include rookie Josh Jackson in the trade, instead keeping the talented Kansas product as a building block for the future.
“The 6-8, 205-pounder out of Kansas has shown why he was worthy of the No. 4 overall draft selection,” the report noted. “He wowed spectators in Summer League, averaging 17.4 points on 42.5 percent shooting from the field and 9.2 rebounds in five games in Las Vegas.”
The Suns could have a counter offer. A report from ESPN 1500’s Dana Wolfson noted that the Suns are willing to include second-year center Dragan Bender and a draft pick to Cleveland to sweeten the deal. The pick is rumored to be the Miami Heat’s first-round draft pick next year, the report added.
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) August 5, 2017
— Yahoo Sports (@YahooSports) August 4, 2017
It is not clear if that will be enough to entice the Cavaliers into trading Kyrie Irving. While Bledsoe posted the top player efficiency rating on the Suns last season, he is a downgrade compared to Irving. And the 7-footer Dragan Bender had a very disappointing rookie season, meaning the Cavaliers would have a project on their hands at best — especially difficult for a team that purposely got smaller in sending off Timofey Mozgov.
There is no indication that the Cavaliers are yet looking seriously at a deal with the Phoenix Suns dealing Kyrie Irving in exchange for Eric Bledsoe, so this one remains firmly in the NBA trade rumors category until there is some kind of further development.
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