Amico: Surprise, Cavs controlling Kyrie ordeal

Kyrie Irving has requested a trade -- but that doesn't mean the Cavaliers will grant him one.

Random dribbles on the Cleveland Cavaliers, who continue to look for the right trade:

1. Despite the national narrative, the Cavaliers feel as if they are in complete control of the Kyrie Irving situation. If they don’t find a trade they love, then yes, they will keep Irving and bring him to training camp.

2. Irving is under contract for two more years (with a player option in year three). What happens with that option will largely be determined by how well Irving plays over the next two seasons. So if Irving returns to Cleveland, it will be in his best interest to deny he ever wanted traded, that he has no beef with LeBron James, blah, blah, blah. And to play hard and continue to win.

3. Hey, stranger things have happened. Really.

4. That said, the Cavs have every intention to move Irving, and they hope to do it soon. But they won’t do it for a bunch of nameless, faceless pieces and parts. That would be silly. If anything, the Cavs plan to use Irving to upgrade the roster. If that doesn’t happen, they’ll just go back to looking for trades centered on other players.

5. Remember, Kyrie puts people in the stands and sells jerseys in the team store. That’s not something anyone in Phoenix does. It’s not something anyone in Minnesota really does either — at least, not to the degree of a dynamic player such as Irving.

6. So if the Suns think Josh Jackson or whoever is going to put fannies in the seats and make the organization money in the same manner as an Irving, the Cavs have a message for them, and it goes a little something like this: Good luck with that.

7. As for the reports that Irving won’t commit to a team beyond his current contract — well, that’s not exactly a negative. No player in his right mind would commit beyond two years when he doesn’t even know where he’s going, or where the franchise is headed when he gets there. As one West Coast source said, “Trust me, Kevin Durant isn’t committed (to Golden State) beyond 2019, either. And they’re winning.”

8. Plus, most teams and people around the league aren’t the least bit bothered by that bit of Irving news. In fact, no teams have been deterred from calling the Cavs to ask about Irving for any reason.

9. Again, it’s important to look at this not just from a basketball standpoint, but from a business as well. From a business angle, even just two years of the type of money Irving will bring is better than zero years.

10. That is why having Cavs owner Dan Gilbert involved in trade talks isn’t necessarily a detriment. He can sell the idea of Kyrie the Money Maker to other owners, some of whom aren’t making much, if anything.

11. As reported earlier on Amico Hoops, the Cavs are not concerning themselves with Irving’s supposed “wish list” of teams. They will trade him wherever they can get the best deal. They have had talks with every team on his reported list, but are not close to a deal with any of them, and don’t really expect to be any time soon.

12. Irving’s reported list: Minnesota, New York, San Antonio and Miami.

13. The Cavs have already shot down the Heat, and the Knicks and Spurs aren’t about to surrender anything the Cavs would want in return. So trades with any of those three seem like the longest of long shots.

14. Meanwhile, the Cavs continue to talk with and keep a close eye on the Timberwolves. But while Jimmy Butler and Karl-Anthony Towns are pushing for an Irving trade, Wolves owner Glen Taylor appears to want to hang on to Andrew Wiggins. The Cavs want Wiggins in any deal involving Irving.

15. Of course, Taylor repeatedly told reporters that he would never trade Kevin Love for Wiggins, and we all saw how that played out back in 2014.

16. Interestingly, Butler and Towns are said to be OK with moving Wiggins for Irving. So it has to make you wonder how Wiggins will respond if a trade doesn’t happen.

17. Regardless, teams always say they aren’t trading people … until they do. Then everyone is so excited about the trade that the denials are long forgotten. Moral of the story? Don’t believe it. Everyone is trying very hard to figure out how to get Irving right now. Everyone.

18. This isn’t to say all is well in Believeland. Frankly, it’s not. The Cavs have a disgruntled star on their hands. They want to move him. But they won’t move him for nothing. And if they don’t move him, guess what they will have going into the season? Yep. A disgruntled star. But a disgruntled star still beats a bunch of nobodies, and that is something the Cavs clearly understand.

15 Comments on "Amico: Surprise, Cavs controlling Kyrie ordeal"

  1. I like Wiggins, but not at this reported $148 million max deal the Wolves have apparently offered. Just not worth that type of money in my opinion an would absolutely destroy the Cavs already bloated salary cap problem. He isn’t a $30 million a year type of player. Cavs should steer clear if he signs this upgraded deal offered by the Wolves. Besides, outside of Wiggins the Wolves don’t have the pieces that allow the Cavs to upgrade the roster sufficiently for giving up an all star PG.

    • I think the Cavs may agree with you, Steve. Wiggins is a nice scorer and very gifted athletically, but what else does he do? He has potential in other areas, but I’m no so certain he has the motivation to work on them. He hasn’t shown it so far. Thanks for commenting! – Sam

  2. KYRIE TERRIBLE DEFENDER LEADER BEFORE LBJ RETURN.WIGGINS JUST AS GOOD A SCORER MORE GIFTED ATHLETE MORE HUMBLE NOT ALOT OF OUTSIDE NOISE LIKE KYRIE.WIGGINS
    WOULD FLOURISH INTO ALLSTAR PLAYING WITH LBJ COACH LUE AN CAVS.THIS IS A STAR DRIVEN LEAGUE WIGGINS IS A FUTURE STAR.

  3. Sam you seem frustrated. My guess is you’re mirroring the feeling inside the Cle front office, they must be so pissed. Why won’t the Suns give up Josh Jackson you must be thinking? For good reason.

    I believe Kyrie WOULD put more fans in the seats and would get the Suns on TV more. But for what? To win a few more games just to see him bolt in two years? Has Kyrie even proven he can win without Lebron? Nope…

    • Jason, not frustrated at all. My job is to report things and call them as I see them. How it plays out, I honestly couldn’t care less. I have a wife and three kids and a website I thoroughly enjoy owning and operating. Think I give a hoot where Kyrie Irving winds up or what the Cavs get for him? Come on. 🙂 … But my point about Irving making the Suns money hasn’t changed. And it is something they will consider. Again, I don’t even know that the Cavs WANT Josh Jackson. Could be a total bust, no one knows. They’ve inquired about him once, barely, and the Suns didn’t shoot them down. They listened. But the national media and the Suns PR staff wants you to believe otherwise. And that is the point of the column. But frustrated? Nah. I am utterly 100 percent indifferent to anything that goes on with any NBA franchise, or any pro sports team anywhere for that matter. Thanks for reading!

  4. Great article Sam. I am so tired of hearing this purported lop-sided offers being floated around for Irving, most of which are laughable. I didn’t know Kyrie turned into Mo Williams in the last 6 weeks!

    • Thank you, Joey. My favorite is how everyone is acting as if the Cavs are so desperate for Josh Jackson. They may not even WANT Josh Jackson. He could be a bust, no one knows. Thanks for reading and commenting!

      • I totally agree with you. That’s why I would hold out for
        Wiggins vs. the Suns trade. I don’t think Bledsoe and the risk of Jackson not panning out is enough for KY. If The Wolves refuse to include Wiggins, I would inform KY not to sell his home here in Cleveland……at least no time soon.

        • Two thumbs up VC. I am in complete agreement. And right now, it appears so are the Cavs. Appreciate not just this, but all of your comments on the site. I’ve read them all. 🙂 – Sam A.

  5. GREAT article Sam!

    Whatever the Cavs do with Kyrie trade, that should close the gap with the GSW. The regular season, and the stat lines of the regular season, do not matter.
    A lot of trades have been suggested in the comments on some articles in this site – and most of them are suggesting to bring a lot of bodies for KI. That is precisely NOT the way the Cavs should see it.

    We need ball sharing. A ‘passing’ Center and PG would help.
    We need at least one big athletic body that is at least a good two-way player.
    We may also need a good two-way SG, unless JR steps up (which I hope, since the child birth saga is now in the past).

    Someone has suggested (Marc Gasol + Mike Conley) for (Kyrie + TT+ Shump). I don’t think Memphis would agree to that deal, but that would solve a lot of problems for the Cavs. Both Gasol and Conley are good at sharing the ball. That would make way for a ‘better’ Kevin Love. Interior defense should also improve by this. Oh, yeah, this will also create a Big4 to counter the GSW Big4.
    The average age will increase for the Cavs – but is that a concern when a team is winning! If they win and LBJ stays, it’s win-win for everyone in Cleveland.

    A similar trade was suggested by another person that brings in Bledsoe, Josh Jackson and Dudley for Kyrie and Shump. Suns may ultimately decide to trade Jackson and this deal seems likely. This one will not be as good as the first one – neither in terms of star power, nor in terms of roster improvement for win-now – but solves a few problems for the Cavs.

    Any possibility of Dragic, Winslow, Whiteside, pick for KI and Love?

    Lastly, I do hope that Rose will get back to his former self – to some extent. That will give the Cavs a huge boost. Then a straight-up KI-Cousins or KI-MGasol trade, if at all possible, will be great!

    (PS: I secretly wish either Anthony Davis or Russell Westbrook becomes a Cav this year)

    • Thank you! Great thoughts yourself. If the Cavs could Davis … man. Same goes for Westbrook. I don’t think they have a real shot at either, but could you imagine? Anyway, thanks again for reading and for the the awesome thoughts. – Sam

      • Just to keep my thoughts in the same comment thread:

        The Spurs are in need of a PG. Even though KI doesn’t fit the way the Spurs play, I think both the star and the team can make some adjustments to make it fit.
        Now, The Spurs have reportedly been shopping LaMarcus Aldridge. I see a possibility, if appropriate supplements are provided, Pelicans being willing to get Aldridge and part with Davis.
        So, that way, Davis can come to the Cavs (and play at 5).
        That means a 3-way block-buster trade!

        Now, all is quiet on the Westbrook front. I mean, $235 million still sitting on the table. By the way, are LBJ and Westbrook back from their Vegas work-out yet? Isn’t there a possibility to swap 2 years of KI with 1 year of Westbrook? That would bring 3 MVPs to Cleveland, and a ton of money to Gilbert to contribute to campaign funds in 2020! Wait …….. what?

  6. Call Phoenix, ask for a trade centered on Eric Bledsoe and other pieces such as Jared Dudley / Marquise Chriss & Davon Reed. Get a hold of the Clippers explain how they need to break up the Doc & Austin dynamic and how they desperately need a starting SG that is not 6-1. Contact the Jazz and discuss their roster issues and potential free agents.
    Cavs send Irving to the Suns, Shumpert & Tavares to the Clippers and Frye, Jefferson & Felder to the Jazz.
    Suns send Bledsoe/Dudley/Chriss/Reed to the Cavs and the OKC Pick to Utah
    Clippers sends Austin Rivers to the Suns
    Utah sends Favors to the Cavs.

    Cavs get a younger more diverse roster – Four players under 27 years old / Bledsoe & Favors start / A bench of Rose / Kover / Osmon / Green / Dudley / Thompson (a fresher Tristan) with a younger 3&D player in Reed
    Clippers get a SG who can start and save Cap Space with non-guar Tavares contract (A backcourt of Beverly & Shumpert with Jordan behind them can play Doc defense)
    Suns get Irving and a backup PG in Rivers who can play off the ball as well (especially with Knight our for the year)
    Jazz get a Roster that complements Gobert and Rubio with a big that can shoot and get the OKC pick which they wouldn’t get for Favors when he leaves via Free Agency next year (he won’t resign with the Jazz if Rudy is there).

  7. Great article, Sam. Like him or not, Kyrie is a legit superstar, and a special kind of talent. His brand is world-wide, nearly on par with the likes of the King himself. If these teams the want to acquire Kyrie in a trade, then they need to give up a lot of value in return. There is no sense of urgency to trade Kyrie before training camp, or even up until the trade deadline. Irving is under contract for 2 years, plus a 3rd year player option. If a team fails to put a fair offer on the table, then that team does not acquire Irving. Remember the huge amount of assets we gave up to get Kevin Love, who is not nearly the same caliber player that Kyrie irving is… not to mention the fact that Love had only 1 year left on his contract. It’s a fact that Kyrie’s value right now is at it’s peak, and is much higher than that of Kevin Love on a 1 year contract back in 2014. Kyrie is younger than Love was in 2014, plus Kyrie has 2 years left on his contract, plus a 3rd year player option. Any team that trades for a player, any player, needs to win and put together a winning environment where a player would want to stay. That is with any player on any team. Contracts expire, and players either re-sign or move on. This well known fact should have zero impact on the amount of value a team receives in a trade. Any player acquisition is a chance and a gamble. It’s up to that team to convince the acquired player to stay when their contract is up. Bottom line is this… Kyrie Irving is a one-of-a-kind talent. Superstar. Gold medalist. All-Star. Champion. The real deal. Uncle Drew. Get Buckets. Mr 4th Quarter… as a Cavs fan, it breaks my heart to lose him, but if he wants to go play elsewhere, then I say it’s time to grant him that request. However, that will only happen if a team is willing to give the Cavs EQUAL VALUE in return. How many teams have a legit superstar to offer in return? Not many. Young talent and rookie player do not equal the same type of talent as a Kyrie Irving. Yet the Cavs will have to decide what they would like to receive in a trade, in order to get the best value for a player of Irving’s caliber, which is nearly impossible without getting someone like Russell Westbrook, Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, James Harden or LeBron James himself back in return. Kyrie is on the same level as all these players, and his value is on the same level. So when a team like Phoenix tries to lowball the Cavs with offers of players who have never even been an all-star, let alone a gold medalist or a champion, then i really have to scratch my head. Yes, Josh Jackson might have a ton of potential… but nothing has been proven when he has not even played a single NBA game yet. Devin Booker may also have similar potential, but has he ever even been an all-star, let alone made the playoffs or won anything? No. …so when Phoenix thinks they can fail to include these 2 players in return for Kyrie Irving, well that just plain pisses me off. Kyrie is worth BOTH Josh Jackson AND Devin Booker, plus some. If the Suns want to throw in some of their junk contracts like Tyson Chandler, TJ Warren or Bledsoe, then that’s fine. But any Phoenix deal needs to include BOTH Jackson and Booker as the centerpieces of the Irving trade. If Phoenix wants to receive more players back with irving, fine. Give them Tristan, Shumpert, Felder, jefferson, etc. But for the Suns to try and lowball the Cavs is just wrong. Jackson and Booker should both be included, bottom line, or no deal. The Suns have no stars on their team that are anywhere near the likes of Kyrie Irving. Phoenix needs to step up their game and put Jackson & Booker both on the table, or they will miss out on this once in a lifetime opportunity, and Irving will be traded elsewhere, to a team that actually wants him enough to make a fair offer… or he will stay in Cleveland. Besides… do the Suns actually think any free agents who are the same superstar level talent as Kyrie will actually come there in the next few years? Of course not. If Kyrie becomes a free agent, he will then go where he wants, and it won;t be to Phoenix. A trade is the Suns only chance to acquire Kyrie, then try to convince him to stay there.

    • In any trade, Cavs need to focus on the centerpiece/s that they want to get back, which gives us back the equal value for Irving. In the case of the Phoenix Suns trade, since they do not have a single superstar that even comes close to Kyrie’s value, we should focus on getting the 2 young players we want. Josh jackson and Devin Booker should be the centerpiece duo, and they both need to be included first and foremost. Any other players involved are irrelevant. Bledsoe is not even a starter, let alone an all-star, let alone a superstar on the level of Irving. I could care less if we get back Bledsoe or Knight (even though Knight has a season-ending injury). The main focus of the deal needs to be Jackson AND Booker. We need to get them both in order for this trade to be fair. Think about it. Jackson is a rookie. he has never played a single game in the NBA. Yes, he has potential. But that doesn’t mean JACK SQUAT in the NBA (in the words of Chris Farley). Look at Anthony Bennett as an example. So, the inclusion of Jackson alone as a centerpiece is simply not enough value in return. We need more. We deserve Booker. And Booker himself is still not enough. Has Booker ever been an all-star? No. has Booker helped the Suns reach the playoffs, let alone the Finals, or win a championship? Hell No, he has not. Therefore, the Suns should be damn lucky to get Kyrie in return for an unproven rookie (Jackson) and a 2 year player who only averaged 18 points on a horrible team with no other real scorers. Damn lucky. Kyrie’s accolades are a mile long. His value is also more than just him as a layer. think of the amount of money he will make the Suns in ticket sales, merchandise sales, etc. There is no comparison. For the Cavs to SETTLE for Jackson and Booker, and basically give Kyrie to them in a trade, the Suns should be thanking us with every fiber of their being. We deserve no less than Jackson AND Booker, or no deal. Period. We move onto the next team’s offer, or we keep Kyrie. Good luck selling tickets and merchandise in phoenix the next few years without a superstar the caliber of Uncle Drew, let alone trying to acquire any superstar on kyrie’s level via free agency. Either put Jackson and Booker on the table, or miss out on this once in a lifetime talent.

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