The Cleveland Cavaliers continue to target younger players with loads of potential in trade talks involving All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving, according to a report from ESPN.
As part of a return for Irving, the Cavs have their sights set on the likes of New York Knicks forward Kristaps Porzingis, Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray, Phoenix Suns rookie forward Josh Jackson, and Boston rookie forward Jayson Tatum, ESPN reported.
The Cavs are willing to move pieces other than Irving, league sources have repeatedly told Amico Hoops, and are continuing to press on about Jackson despite the Suns’ initial reluctance. Irving requested a trade last month.
“This Irving trade process has been deliberate, and teams believe the Cavaliers expect more aggressive conversations in September, closer to the start of training camps. Porzingis has emerged as a primary Cleveland target, but that’s a conversation that can occur only with Cleveland’s willingness to unburden the Knicks of the three years and $55 million left on Joakim Noah’s contract. For now, the conversation is a nonstarter for the Knicks, league sources said.”
The report added that older veteran teams such as the San Antonio Spurs have a strong interest in Irving, but have no one who would work for the Cavs in return. League sources have told Amico Hoops the Cavs have not been interested in proposals from the Spurs and sources do not expect that to change.
The Detroit Pistons, Milwaukee Bucks and New Orleans Pelicans have emerged as some of the stronger suitors for Irving in recent weeks, sources told Amico Hoops.
Meanwhile, the Celtics are also said to be intrigued with Irving, and they are among the teams on his wish list, according to former Cavs general manager David Griffin.
The Cavs, however, would want both Tatum and second-year forward Jaylen Brown included in a package centered on Irving.
Per ESPN: “Boston knows that Cleveland is mostly intrigued with Tatum, but the sides have not formally discussed that deal, league sources said.”
As Amico Hoops reported last week, ESPN wrote Tuesday the Cavs and others around the league expect opposing teams to make stronger offers and talks to get more serious as training camp approaches next month.
“I doubt anyone has made their best offer yet,” one opposing team executive told Amico Hoops. “I know we haven’t.”
Cavs GM Koby Altman is currently assisting with the Basketball Without Borders program in Israel, where he continues to take part in Irving talks.
Team owner Dan Gilbert has also been involved in discussions with opposing owners/GMs — and star forward LeBron James has been described by the Cavs as extremely engaged in the team’s pursuit of talent.