The Cleveland Cavaliers' 'peculiar' offseason has taken an unexpected turn to the surreal.
According to ESPN's Brian Windhorst, Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving asked the team to trade him during a meeting last week.
Per Windhorst, Irving has expressed that he wants to go play in a situation where he can be a more focal point and no longer wants to play alongside LeBron James, sources said.
This would seem to completely contradict Irving's feelings about James that were expressed after the Cavaliers were eliminated by the Warrirors in the NBA Finals. Irving said of the four-time NBA MVP:
"That's the type of guy that I want to be with every single time I'm going to war, because I know what to expect, and you stand your ground, too, with a leader like that. You don't want to take a step back. You move to the front line with a guy like that, and you want to bring your game up to another level.
That's what I'm going to continue to do, because I know that if we continue to be with one another and keep utilizing one another, man, the sky's the limit. So, I've learned a lot and I will continue to, and I couldn't be more proud of that guy. He left it all out there on the floor, and to average a triple-double in the freaking Finals, man, add that to the LeBron long list that everyone keeps forgetting."
Windhorst reports that James was informed of Irving's request and was blindsided and disappointed, according to sources.
As far as possible trade destinations for Irving, Windhorst's colleague at ESPN, Chris Haynes reports:
ESPN Sources: On Kyrie Irving front, Cavs were given four preferred landing spots: New York, Miami, San Antonio, Minnesota.— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) July 21, 2017
The first trade rumor has come from Yahoo!'s Jordan Schultz, who is hearing about a possible scenario involving Irving and Carmelo Anthony:
This news comes days after Irving referred to the Cavs as being in a 'peculiar place' during a Sports Illustrated event. He added, "The best thing we can do is handle things with class and professionalism. Obviously we have a great owner (Dan Gilbert) that’s willing to spend a little money on guys that he believes in. At this point, we just (wait to) see what happens throughout the summer.”
On the heels of losing to Golden State in the NBA Finals, the Cavaliers have been unable to make any major moves to bolster their roster via trade or free agency. They also have an unstable situation in the front office after parting ways with General Manager David Griffin last month. Chauncey Billups turned down an opportunity to take charge of the team's basketball operations.
James reportedly is also frustrated and concerned about the Cavaliers' direction this offseason, per a report from USA TODAY's Jeff Zilgutt. James is due to become a free agent next July.
Cavs forward Kevin Love had an amusing response to a Twitter question about the Irving situation:
Life is amazing. No complaints. Things are a little peculiar. But no complaints. Now go kick some rocks 🙌🏼 https://t.co/Tz62YyGeYt— Kevin Love (@kevinlove) July 21, 2017
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