The 2017 NBA offseason has been a wild one, with several superstars making moves to new teams. The biggest bombshell of the summer was one no one’s radar, however. Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving has requested a trade out of “The Land”, with various reports claiming the All-Star does not want to play with teammate LeBron James anymore. Whether he just wants to spread his wings on his own or has an unresolvable issue with James is unclear at this point. What we do know is Kyrie is likely on the move. Should he force his way out of Cleveland, these five cities appear to be his most likely landing spots.
SAN ANTONIO SPURS
According to reports, the Spurs are Irving’s preferred destination and it’s not difficult to see why. San Antonio has a solid team, an annual MVP candidate in Kawhi Leonard and a Hall of Fame coach in Gregg Popovich. Sure, the Western Conference is starting to get extremely stacked, but that’s no reason to avoid San Antonio. The 25-year-old Irving and 26-year-old Leonard could spend their primes together, terrorizing the West years after the Warriors’ run ends. San Antonio will need to find a way to put together a nice package without depleting its core, though. A trade involving Danny Green, Dejounte Murray, Tony Parker and a first-round pick for Irving and Iman Shumpert could get the job done.
Image via Gospel Herald
LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS
The Clippers lost point guard Chris Paul to the Houston Rockets, but could replace him with Irving with the right deal. A core of Irving, Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan and Danilo Gallinari would certainly be formidable, but can Los Angeles get a deal completed without trading any of those pieces? L.A. would most likely need to part with Jordan, but considering his impending free-agency that would be a wise move. At the very least, Irving and Griffin would be very fun to watch together for a few seasons.
Image via Bleacher Report
NEW YORK KNICKS
The Knicks would love to have the New Jersey native Irving, and while Irving mentioned New York as a preferred landing spot, the Knicks might not have enough to get the job done. An obvious solution would be a trade involving Carmelo Anthony, some draft picks and role players, but Anthony’s no-trade clause will likely hold this up. Without Irving, the Cavaliers are not a serious title contender, making it unlikely Anthony would approve a trade to Cleveland. All recent reports suggest the Irving development has strengthened his desire to play in Houston, rather than Cleveland. A Knicks squad headlined by Irving and Kristaps Porzingis would be competitive for years to come, but this might be a pipe dream.Image via Bleacher Report
Could Kyrie join LeBron’s former team? It would be an interesting storyline, to say the least. To make this happen, Miami would need to offer Goran Dragic, along with rookie Bam Adebayo, Justise Winslow and a draft pick or two. The Heat do not have a superstar to pair with Irving, but top dog status might be just what Kyrie is looking for. Plus, former Cavs teammate Dion Waiters is no slouch. The more we think about it, with so many stars now residing in the Western Conference, a move to Miami may not be such a bad decision.Image via Bleacher Report
Even with Irving, the Timberwolves might not be serious Finals contenders for a couple years, but the future is very bright in Minnesota. Irving and new Timberwolves star Jimmy Butler, former USA Basketball teammates, would join rising superstar Karl-Anthony Towns to form a scary pack. With Minnesota tied up to a big contract with new point guard Jeff Teague and Towns and Butler unavailable, any trade with Cleveland would likely need to involve Andrew Wiggins, who was dealt to Minny after the Cavs drafted him first overall in 2014. Ironic, we know.
It could happen, but our bet is on San Antonio.
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