With ongoing NBA trade rumors about Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving, the latest speculation is that he’d prefer one team over the rest. In a fitting bit of irony, it appears that the NBA All-Star point guard wants to play for the Los Angeles Clippers. That team just so happens to be in need of a point guard as their previous floor general Chris Paul is now a part of the Western Conference rivals Houston. Will the Los Angeles Clippers have enough to orchestrate some sort of deal to acquire Kyrie Irving, and will Cleveland even move him to the team?
In a report from The Sporting News‘ Thomas Lott on Friday, it’s mentioned that NBA analyst Peter Vecsey said he’s been “told [Kyrie] wants to play for the Clippers.” Vecsey goes on to say that Irving likes Jerry West and would love to be a part of a franchise where West is helping to shape the team’s formation. In addition, Vecsey mentions that Kyrie “loves L.A.” and has been “working out a lot there” over the summer so far. The irony with that is the fact that there have also been rumors that LeBron James is planning to move to the Los Angeles Lakers after this season is over with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The latest NBA trade rumors come weeks after it was made public knowledge that Kyrie Irving had asked the Cavaliers to trade him. The reasoning behind his request was that he wanted to go to a team where he could be more of the “focal point” rather than playing the role of sidekick to superstar LeBron James. Initially, four teams popped up in reports as destinations that Irving would want to go to. They included the San Antonio Spurs, Minnesota Timberwolves, Miami Heat, and New York Knicks.
Irving, who is an NBA Champion and multiple-time All-Star, has two years or so left before he’s officially an NBA free agent. Due to that aspect, it’s being reiterated by plenty of analysts that Irving really has no leverage in terms of where he might be traded to. The Clippers are an interesting choice, but it’s being said this team has very little in the way of assets to offer in exchange for Irving. Possibly a multi-team deal could be arranged, though.
One of the teams that came up as a strong potential trade destination for Irving was the Phoenix Suns since they do have the assets to offer the Cavaliers. However, it was mentioned in reports that Cleveland wanted guard Eric Bledsoe and rookie forward Josh Jackson in the deal. The Suns were unwilling to part ways with Jackson whom they drafted at No. 4 in this past summer’s NBA Draft. There also has been some discussion that teams will want to consider how Kyrie Irving might be as a teammate, based on a reported situation during last year’s playoffs.
Just a day ago, a report from NBC Sports‘ Dan Feldman talked about Kyrie Irving going consecutive days during the playoffs without talking to his Cavs teammates. The original anecdote came from ESPN‘s Dave McMenamin on The BBallBreakdown Podcast as he spoke about Irving’s former Cavs teammate James Jones. Basically, Jones said that Irving didn’t speak to his teammates at practice in between the first-round series against Indiana and the second-round series against Toronto. As mentioned in the report, though, it’s hard to gauge if this is related to some animosity between Irving and his teammates or just his own mental focus keeping him silent in preparation for the games.
This saga will continue as the NBA revealed small pieces of next season’s schedule this past week. Whether or not Kyrie Irving will be a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers for the season-opening and Christmas Day games remains to be seen, but it’s hard to believe he’ll have the power to make the Cavs send him to his ideal team.
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