The Cleveland Cavaliers’ offseason was turned on its head when Kyrie Irving requested a trade to take on a new challenge and set out on his own to be the star of his own team rather than LeBron James’ sidekick.
When news of Irving’s request was made public, it was a bombshell that led to more than a month of speculation and rumors about what the Cavs would do with their star point guard as the season was rapidly approaching. Ultimately, Cleveland chose to send Irving to the Celtics in exchange for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, and the Brooklyn Nets’ 2018 first round pick. It was a solid haul considering the position Cleveland was in with a disgruntled star that wanted out.
While all signs pointed to Cleveland shipping Irving out in order to avoid any awkwardness starting the season with a point guard that no longer wanted to be there, it wasn’t a consensus in the organization that they should trade him. New general manager Koby Altman was tasked with finding a deal for Irving, but coach Tyronn Lue felt it could be possible to mend fences between Irving, James and the organization.