What’s up, guys? Speedy Mormna here for Complex News.
Kyrie Irving reportedly wants the Cleveland Cavaliers to trade him this offseason, and everyone seems to have a different reason for why he wants the team to do it. Some NBA reporters and analysts have speculated that Irving hasn’t gotten along with LeBron James in recent seasons, while others have suggested that Irving might be looking to step out of LeBron’s shadow and run a team on his own. There are so many rumors surrounding Irving’s trade request that it’s gotten difficult to keep up with all of them.
Irving himself is yet to speak publicly about the trade that he reportedly asked for, but the latest report on it indicates that his relationship with his Cavaliers teammates might be even worse than some people have thought. And it could be a sign that Irving is definitely on his way out of Cleveland in the coming months.
ESPN reporter Dave McMenamin, who covers the Cavaliers for The Worldwide Leader and has his finger on the pulse of what’s happening with the team at any given moment, appeared on the BBall Breakdown podcast this week, and he was asked about the idea of the Cavaliers trading Irving to the Suns as part of a deal that would see Eric Bledsoe, Josh Jackson, and a draft pick coming back to Cleveland in return.
It’s an interesting trade proposal because the Suns have reportedly been hesitant to deal Jackson, who they drafted back in June. But it’s also interesting because Irving’s former Cavaliers teammate James Jones—who is close with LeBron—agreed to become the Suns’ new vice president of basketball operations in June after announcing his retirement. And while talking on the podcast, McMenamin said that could play a key role in whether a Cavaliers/Suns trade for Irving gets done, because according to him, Irving often refused to talk to Jones and other Cleveland teammates during the team’s playoff run this past spring.
“Phoenix, of course, hired James Jones this offseason. He’s been inside that [Cavaliers] locker room. He saw Kyrie in the playoffs this year—in between the first round when they beat Indiana and the second round when they played Toronto—go consecutive days without speaking to a teammate at practice. On that stage.”
McMenamin went on to say that it’s not all that uncommon for NBA players to occasionally distance themselves from teammates at times during the regular season. But the fact that he heard Irving did it during the postseason is something that could be a concern for Jones, if he wants to bring Irving to Phoenix.
“It’s one thing for people to go through your ups and downs during the regular season. But when you get to the playoffs, the main thing is the main thing, and we’re brothers, and we’re pulling together to get this thing done. Even at that level, there were things that made him sullen or reclusive from his teammates.”
It’s worth pointing out that the Cavaliers swept both the Pacers and the Raptors in the first and second rounds of the playoffs. So if Irving did indeed stop talking to teammates at some point between those series, it doesn’t seem like it had much of an effect on the team.
But Irving’s reported behavior during the playoffs could prevent the Suns from pulling the trigger on a blockbuster trade that would bring Irving out west. It could also make it more difficult for the Cavaliers to find the kind of package they’re looking for in return for Irving.
For now, Irving continues to stay silent with regards to his trade request. But if we’ve learned anything over these last few weeks, it’s that the trade rumors surrounding him are going to continue as we inch closer and closer to the start of NBA training camp in September.
That’s the news for now, but for all the latest news on Kyrie Irving, subscribe to Complex News on YouTube. For Complex News, I’m Speedy Morman.