Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving has reportedly requested a trade this offseason. Here are five teams that might want to land him in a trade.
The Cleveland Cavaliers are having a no good, very bad offseason. Cleveland was outmatched in the 2017 NBA Finals, falling to the Golden State Warriors in five games. Owner Dan Gilbert was not on board with giving general manager David Griffin an extension. LeBron James isn’t happy with how the free agency cycle is going. Now star point guard Kyrie Irving wants to be traded.
Irving wants to be traded? It’s gotten that bad. Apparently so. ESPN’s Brian Windhorst that Irving has asked for a trade from the Cavaliers. Few basketball people are more plugged into the Cavaliers organization than Windhorst.
So if Irving does get his way, where could he wind up? Here are five teams that would be interesting landing spots for Irving. Obviously, there are more than five teams that would drop everything to trade for the gifted Cavaliers point guard, but let’s start with these.
After adding Paul Millsap in free agency this summer, it looks like the Denver Nuggets are finally ready to get back into the Western Conference playoffs. General manager Tim Connelly has quietly collected assets in his long-term rebuilding project in Denver. He hasn’t hit on every pick, but his best to date was franchise center Nikola Jokic, and he went in the second round.
Denver should have an elite frontcourt tandem in Millsap and Jokic, but point guard difficulties may limit the Nuggets’ ceiling to being just a team that will exit in the first round of the postseason. Emmanuel Mudiay is not the franchise cornerstone at the point Connelly thought he was getting in the first round.
By adding a superstar like Irving, Denver becomes maybe as good as a top-four team in the Western Conference overnight. He won’t add any defense to the Nuggets’ identity, but Denver will score with their great offensive players on the block and out on the wing.
It’s semi-ridiculous, but could Denver send Millsap to Cleveland before the season even begins. Millsap is a guy that James would love to play next to in Cleveland. He’s a physical defender that could match up better with any of the forwards Golden State would throw at them.
Jokic isn’t going anywhere, but Denver has the assets to make a deal with the Cavaliers for Irving. That would be a dynamic one-five combo that could usher in an era of Nuggets basketball the Denver community has never seen.