The NBA offseason just took a shocking turn with news that Kyrie Irving requested a trade from the Cleveland Cavaliers sometime last week, reports Brian Windhorst of ESPN. News of Irving wanting out of Cleveland “blindsided” and “disappointed” LeBron James, who clearly didn’t see this coming.
Irving made the request directly to Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert, who has yet to replace departed general manager David Griffin. Kyrie wants to go to a team where he can be the “focal point” and “no longer wants to play alongside LeBron James,” according to Windhorst.
This comes off the back of an interview with Sports Illustrated in which Kyrie alluded to not being thrilled about where things are heading in Cleveland.
"I understand we're in a very peculiar place. We just have to, you know, make sure that all our pieces are aligned first, and then we go from there. It's the summertime, a lot of craziness going on in the NBA,” Irving told SI.
It appears the Cavaliers are an even more peculiar place now that Irving wants out. Without a general manager, this is even murkier waters for Cleveland to get through. It also doesn’t help that rumors of James’ own unrest are swirling, and now the Cavaliers have a major fire burning a hole in their roster.
Do the Cavaliers try to trade LeBron, who might walk next season anyway, in an attempt to keep their younger star? Do they trade Kyrie and try to find the best package possible to convince LeBron to stay? Should they tear it all down? Does Kyrie know LeBron’s leaving and is trying to get his own parachute opened ahead of time?
These are just a few of the questions the Cavaliers must answer now that the superteam has hit a major snag. The rest of the NBA is surely paying close attention to the smoke signals coming out of Cleveland.