NBA

Kyrie Irving to Phoenix almost happened on draft night


Kyrie Irving to the Phoenix Suns has been a hot rumor since the point guard declared his desire for a trade earlier in the summer. Chris Broussard went on Colin Cowherd to detail where it all started and how the trade could have shook up the entire NBA.

Kyrie Irving wants out of Cleveland, that’s old news by now. His varied reasons have been stated in the past but most point to friction in his relationship with LeBron James being the driving factor. Chris Broussard was on Colin Cowherd and shed some light on where it may have all broken down between the two All-Star teammates.

To dive into Broussard’s comments you need to go all the way back to the NBA draft.

Phoenix and Cleveland had a deal in place. It would have sent Eric Bledsoe and the No. 4 pick in the draft (eventually became Josh Jackson) to Cleveland for Kyrie Irving. The Cavaliers would then have taken the draft pick and sent it to Indiana in exchange for Paul George.

Indiana would have been able to start their rebuild fresh. The team would be centered around whoever they chose at four, probably still Jackson and big man Myles Turner. Phoenix would have received an All-Star running mate for budding star Devin Booker. Irving is also still young enough to fit into the Suns long-term plans.

The Cavaliers would have been able to reload for another shot at the Warriors. George and Bledsoe would have been more than capable enough to replace Irving’s offensive output. They are also very good defensive players that would have sewn up Cleveland’s shakiness at that end of the floor.

George was dealt to Oklahoma City for Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis. Bledose and Jackson remain in Pheonix while LeBron and Kyrie are still Cavs.

Broussard continued to share that the deal fell through after Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert spoke with LeBron James. Gilbert wanted James’ commitment long-term before pulling the trigger on the deal. LeBron refused to commit.

As Broussard discusses, you can read into that in multiple ways. Either LeBron wants to keep his options open for next season or he is already planning his exit from Cleveland for the second time. The rumors of his exit have already been shot down by the LeBron camp.

This is where Broussard said it began to break down between Irving and James. Kyrie believed that the rumors he was hearing of a trade would not have happened with LeBron’s blessing. LeBron was all for keeping Kyrie but expressed that a trade like that makes his team better. Without a long-term commitment though, the Cavaliers refused to complete the trade.

It seems as though Kyrie Irving will do whatever it takes to get out of Cleveland, especially if he believes that LeBron is gone after this season. The two sat down in Miami recently to hash out this tumultuous offseason. 

Cleveland and Phoenix could still strike a deal that sends Irving to the Suns in exchange for Bledsoe and Jackson. So far Phoenix management has been reluctant to include Jackson, perhaps showing that the market for Irving is no where near where Cleveland would like or expect.



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