By Scott Brock-Wilson
With the news that Kyrie Irving has requested a trade from Cleveland because he wants to be the focal point of an offense coming out today, many have started to ponder where Kyrie could end up. So here are several possibilities that could make sense.
Cavs get: Wiggins, Teague, Minn ‘18 1st, OKC ‘18 1st (top 14 protected)
Twolves get: Kyrie, Channing Frye
We know Butler and Kyrie are boys, but the issue is that Thibodeau already screwed up as a GM by signing Teague to a 3yr/57 million dollar deal. The Twolves could trade Teague for Kyrie as their salaries match up, but the Twolves would need to wait a couple months into the season with December 15th being the earliest trade date. Obviously the Cavs would want more than Teague and picks, which is where Wiggins comes into play. Wiggins would return to the Cavs, the team which originally drafted him, to try to take the next step in his career so many thought he would take this past year. This is a steep price for Minnesota to give up, but a potential threesome of Kyrie-Butler-KAT is deadly now and for years to come. This team would contend to be in the top half of the Western Conference Playoffs.
This move could still leaves the Cavs with win-now potential as they return two good starters. The picks could be tradable assets right away as the cavs could look to add another piece.
Cavs get: Dejounte Murray, Danny Green, Jeremy Lin, Kyle Anderson, Spurs ‘18 1st, Nets ‘21 2nd
Spurs get: Kyrie, Frye, Archie Goodwin
Nets get: Aldridge, Spurs ‘20 1st rounder
This one is more complicated, the Spurs would clearly need to get rid of Aldridge and this is just one version of a three team trade including the Nets (of course). To recap, the Spurs are giving up alot: Aldridge, Green, Murray, Anderson and 2 1sts for Kyrie. The Spurs are making this move knowing you need a point guard to be able to win the West and a duo of Kyrie and Kawhi is up there with any 2-man combination. This brings to question if Kyrie would actually be the focal point of the offense, but it would certainly be more 50-50 than him and LeBron. How the Spurs surround the two after their depth is decimated would be the next difficulty for Pop and R.C. Buford
The Nets get rid of Lin and Goodwin clearing the way for Russell to get 35+ minutes a game. They gain Aldridge, instantly making them better right now but not blocking any budding star, and a 1st round pick to add to their young core.
The Cavs receive solid starters now (Green and Lin) and a point guard for the future (Murray), but the deal doesn’t quite seem as lucrative as the other options.
Cavs get: Harris, Faried, Barton, Mudiay, Den ‘18 1st round pick, Den ‘18 2nd rounder (from GS)
Nuggets get: Kyrie
The Nuggets have been searching for a star for a while, have a desperate need for a point guard (Mudiay is terrible but the Cavs would need a point), and have the assets to potentially acquire Kyrie. Kyrie would be the focal point to an offense featuring himself, Jokic, Murray and Millsap. All the sudden the Nuggets are a lock to be a top 5 team in the west and are built for the future. Even with Kyrie being the #1 guy in Denver, it is hard to see him accepting an extension and staying there long term. Also if I am the Cavs, I am asking for Malik and Lyles instead of Barton, but this trade still suits the Cavs.
This would be a potential blow it up option for the Cavs leaving them with younger players with high potential.
Cavs get: Dragic, Winslow, ‘19 first protected top 1-5 (if not given to PHX), or turns into ‘20 protected 1-3
Heat get: Kyrie, Frye
The Heat would be officially giving up on the Justise Winslow experiment (the one which Trader Danny tried to trade all the Nets picks for). They would make Kyrie and Whiteside their future with room to build on the wings. The Heat would be a top 6 team in the East this year, but still far off from contention and would need to add other pieces.
The Cavs would receive Dragic alongside with Winslow. Leaving the team still in a potential win now mode with Winslow and the pick being very tradable assets.
Cavs get: Bledsoe, Booker, Suns ‘18 2nd
Suns get: Kyrie
The Suns are essentially swapping Booker for Kyrie as they have already had trouble trying to deal Bledsoe otherwise. This would give Kyrie full control of the offense with little help. The Suns are able to keep all three young unknowns in Jackson, Bender and Chriss, while also maintaining all future 1st round draft picks. However, as with Denver, it is hard to picture Kyrie re-signing long term in Phoenix. Losing Booker would be a tough sacrifice for the Suns, but well worth it if Kyrie is the face of the franchise for years to come.
For the Cavs, gaining Booker provides instant shooting and potential star power for the future. Bledsoe replaces the playmaking lost from Kyrie. This backcourt duo keeps Lebron and the Cavs in contention and makes the trade a wash for this year.
Cavs get: Melo, Frank Ntilikina, NY ‘18 first
NY gets: Kyrie, Frye
New York should trade anyone except Porzingis for Kyrie (ideally keeping Frank). By finally getting rid of Melo, the Knicks move forward with Kyrie-Porzingis. The Cavs would stay in contention with Melo and receive their point guard of the future with Frank.
The Cavs call his bluff. Kyrie stays put. He is still under contract for the next two years, and the Cavs could always trade him next summer or the following deadline if it becomes apparent he will leave.
Kyrie has preference for Minnesota, San Antonio, Miami, and New York. If your curious for the implications on LeBron for this season...he has a no trade clause and will dictate where he wants to go if the Cavs decide to go that route.