Can a trade request change the Lakers’ plan of waiting on a during next year’s free agency? Somebody within the Cleveland Cavaliers’ organization leaked that one of their stars, point guard Kyrie Irving, wants to be traded from the team. After receiving a beat down in the NBA Finals and firing David Griffin, the GM that LeBron liked, Cleveland is in a very “peculiar” place. That is, according to Kyrie Irving anyways.
Days after finding out his overall rating on NBA 2K18 was only a 90, the former Duke standout has had enough of being LeBron James’ little brother. Kyrie wants to be the star that his team focuses their build around. He reportedly gave team owner Dan Gilbert four preferred landing spots, although that doesn’t matter because he doesn’t hold any sort of trade clause in his contract (which has two guaranteed years on it). Those preferred spots are with the Knicks, Heat, Spurs, and Timberwolves.
That part of the request doesn’t really matter, considering the Cavaliers fielded a call from the Boston Celtics on Monday. I’m not quite sure Kyrie would be “the guy” in Boston, but that’s tough luck for him. The Cavaliers are in an awkward spot that will probably cause them to lose both Kyrie and LeBron within the next 333 days. They need to pick up young assets, which makes sense as to why they were talking with Boston.
The Cavaliers need to perform their due diligence by calling around the league to find promising young talent. The return needs to also be enough to persuade LeBron to stay with the team at the end of the year when he hits free agency. It only makes sense that the Lakers would be on Cleveland’s call list.
The Lakers have the assets to make a potential deal for Kyrie Irving, but the cost is the biggest question. Would the Lakers’ brass offer up Lonzo Ball to get rid of Luol Deng’s atrocious contract? Probably not, especially since the Sacramento Kings aren’t offering DeAaron Fox in a deal for Irving. Is Brandon Ingram still untouchable? I’d assume so.
That leaves the best possible package as Jordan Clarkson, Julius Randle, and Kyle Kuzma.
A trade like that would gut the Lakers’ depth, but leaves a starting five of Lonzo Ball, Kyrie, Ingram, Larry Nance Jr., and Brook Lopez. The only notable second teamers would be the recently-signed Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and first rounder Josh Hart.
The rumors will be intensifying throughout the week, so expect to read a similar article in regards to almost every other team’s chances to land the 2016 NBA champ. Cavs’ officials have reportedly deemed a Kyrie trade as nearly “inevitable.” It’ll be interesting to follow whether Kyrie winds up with one of his four preferred teams and whether he ends up being the focal point of his new team’s offense. A trade to the Lakers would fulfil two of Kyrie’s wishes–leaving LeBron’s side and being the #1 player on his team.