Kyrie Irving has pegged the San Antonio Spurs, New York Knicks, Miami Heat and Minnesota Timberwolves as his preferred trade destinations, according to ESPN.com’s Chris Haynes.
Irving also reportedly considered the Chicago Bulls, but he scratched them off his list after they traded Jimmy Butler to Minnesota, per ESPN.com’s Ian Begley.
On Friday, ESPN.com’s Brian Windhorst cited sources who said Irving requested a trade last week during a meeting with Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert because “he wants to play in a situation where he can be more of a focal point and that he no longer wants to play alongside LeBron James.”
The big question for the Cavaliers, should they choose to accommodate Irving’s request, is whether they will target players who can help deliver a fourth straight Eastern Conference championship or a package of young assets and picks that would set Cleveland up for a future in the event things come crashing down next summer.
As for Irving’s list of preferred destinations, the Knicks immediately stand out as a logical trade partner.
Carmelo Anthony has already told New York’s front office he would waive his no-trade clause to facilitate a move to the Cavaliers, according to ESPN.com’s Adrian Wojnarowski, and the Knicks currently own all of their future first-round picks.
The Spurs are also an intriguing option, namely because they have an exciting young point guard in Dejounte Murray and veterans like LaMarcus Aldridge and Danny Green who could be matching salaries in a potential deal.
Aldridge is also reportedly unhappy in San Antonio, which led the Spurs to discuss draft-day trades centered around the five-time All-Star in June, according to ESPN.com’s Ramona Shelburne and Michael C. Wright.
Logistics figure to be more complicated in discussions with the Heat and Timberwolves, but if the Cavaliers can round up additional trade partners, they could feasibly acquire a package that helps soften the blow of losing one of the league’s premier point guards.
By Bleacher Report
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