The Cleveland Cavaliers were playing in the 2017 NBA Finals less than six weeks ago and, while the Golden State Warriors were the superior team in the series on the way to victory, LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and company displayed flashes of the brilliance that has kept the team atop the Eastern Conference in recent years.
However, that balance of power could be shifting in a very real way in the immediate future, as Irving has reportedly informed Cleveland’s leadership that he would like to be traded.
In response to the report, Irving’s agent, Jeff Wechsler, released the following statement to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
“Kyrie and I had a meeting with Cavs leadership where we discussed many different scenarios in reference to Kyrie and his future with the team. The basis of those discussions and what went on in those discussions are between the Cavs and us. We are respectfully going to keep those private.”
Following that response from Wechsler, he provided further comment to David Aldridge of NBA.com.
Irving recently opined that the Cavaliers were “in a peculiar place” and, while that potentially shed light on the unrest behind closed doors, asking for a trade certainly takes things to another level. Beyond the simple impact of a top-flight player wanting out in this fashion, Irving’s reported desire also shifts the focus back to LeBron James, who will be eligible to hit the free agent market next summer amid rumblings that he could land elsewhere, including the possibility of Los Angeles.
Beyond the peripheral involvement of James, the ESPN report indicates that James was “blindsided and disappointed” when learning of Irving’s intentions, adding further fuel to the fire. This comes on the heels of James reportedly expressing both frustration and concern with the direction of the franchise after the loss of GM David Griffin and it cannot sit well with the best player on the planet that he could lose his principle running mate in the coming days.
Unless the Cavaliers acquiesce to Irving’s plea for a trade, the All-Star guard will remain in Cleveland but, for now, the whispers about trouble in Cleveland have turned into full-fledged screams.
And some of those screams may lead Irving to an unlikely place: