By Michael Zingrone
Kyrie wants out, and for good reason. It’s inevitable that LeBron is leaving next year, and this roster is nothing Kyrie wants to be apart of after that. He gets to start over with a team at age 25 rather than age 28. It all makes sense. Here are five trades I would love to see happen in the coming months involving Kyrie.
Blockbuster trade with the Celtics
Cleveland receives: Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Terry Rosier, Lakers/Kings pick acquired via Philadelphia
Boston receives: Kyrie Irving
Boston by far can offer the most for Irving. They have a plethora of picks and young talent to make it easy to get rid of a few starters. Cleveland can’t get the “blue-chip” young star from Boston, but they can get a high pick along with Thomas and Crowder, who can help now, and Rosier who can develop into a really nice player in the future. A trade like this might not happen to due that fact the Cavs and Cs are fighting it out for the number one spot in the East, but these two make the best trade partners in a potential deal.
Three way deal with NYK and PHO
Cleveland receives: Carmelo Anthony, Eric Bledsoe, Jared Dudley, 2018 first round top-5 protected pick (NYK), 2018 Miami first round pick via Suns (top-7 protected)
Knicks receive: Kyrie Irving, Iman Shumpert
Suns receive: Kevin Love, Frank Ntilikina
The Knicks are Kyrie’s ideal landing space according to sources. Only way he can go to the Knicks is if they pull in a third team. The Cavs get a pretty nice return here, but give up three key players. Kevin Love needs to go because he is better suited on a different team. His talent is too big for the role he plays. Two first rounders next year is a great return in many of ways. If they are in a good range they can select promising young players or use them in a different trade down to road possibly. I think Melo will waive his no-trade clause if he knows him and Eric Bledose are going at the same time. Cleveland stays atop as the conference favorite after this trade.
Irving-Butler-Towns is the new big 3
Cleveland receives: Andrew Wiggins, Gorgui Dieng, Tyus Jones, future top-5 protected first.
Minnesota receives: Kyrie Irving, Channing Frye
The twin-cities is another destination atop Irving’s list. The Twolves have something not a lot of these teams have to offer, that bonafide young star Cleveland needs. Wiggins was used to get Kevin Love a few years back, and if Minnesota wants Irving they need to give him back. Wiggins will be a future star and a year with LeBron could help polish his game. If LeBron leaves after this year, a young core of Wiggins, Gorgui Dieng, and Tyus Jones can help the Cavs recover from that possibility. All three provide nice upside that can really grow into their own. Minnesota loses a decent part of the top of their rotation, but an Irving-Butler-Towns big 3 can compete with the Warriors very soon. We seem to forget the Kyrie plays Steph Curry better than most point guards in this league, that makes his impact that more important.
The Suns get in on the action
Cleveland receives: Eric Bledsoe, Jared Dudley, Dragan Bender, TJ Warren, 2018 Top-7 protected first rounder via Miami
Suns receive: Kyrie Irving, Iman Shumpert, Channing Frye
Phoenix can use an experienced star to pair with their young guys. Irving is an upgrade from Bledsoe and with the kicker of a first-rounder and some key rotation players it is a good trade for both sides. Bender and Warren aren’t the best young prospects but still have plenty of room to grow into solid NBA players. Bledsoe and Dudley are good fits into the “win now” mode of the Cavs. Phoenix jumps up to a playoff hopeful and Cleveland still has plenty of firepower to repeat as East champs.
Denver Nuggets make a big move
Cleveland receives: Jamal Murray, Trey Lyles, Wilson Chandler, Denver’s 2018 Top-5 protected first rounder
Denver receives: Kyrie Irving
The Nuggets can really fly under the radar in a possible Kyrie trade. They have plenty of young players to throw Cleveland’s way. And since they are in the West, their pick will be high enough to intrigue Cleveland since it will be hard to make the playoff and/or get far at all. Trey Lyles hasn’t been able to find his own in the NBA but still has talent to get valuable minutes on the floor with LeBron and Wilson Chandler adds much needed bench depth. In order to get Kyrie the Nuggets has to get rid of either Jamal Murray or Gary Harris. Cleveland would like Murray more in my opinion because of his ability to play point or off the ball effectively. If I were Denver, a move like this could help my team inch closer to being a notable playoff team.