Kyrie Irving's departure from Cleveland was all but assured once his trade request became public earlier this summer, but Tuesday's trade to the Boston Celtics was still legitimately shocking. Two teams at the top of their conference swapping All Stars is almost unfathomable, and the ripple effects of this trade could echo for years to come.
Now that Irving has finally hit the road, we can start to sort through all the deals that didn't go through for Cleveland. The Cavaliers were tied to a number of suitors over the last month or so. The Phoenix Suns, in particular, were at the center of Irving trade rumors, but one curious team has also popped up since the trade for Isaiah Thomas became official: the Golden State Warriors.
I know what you're thinking—that's preposterous! And you're totally justified to feel that way, because the only thing more ridiculous than a trade between two Eastern contenders is a trade between the title favorites in each conference. But that's exactly the route Cleveland explored, and according to The Undefeated's Marc Spears, Cavaliers general manager Koby Altman had his eyes set on one of Golden State's core players, Klay Thompson:
Altman was extremely focused on the future in making this trade, a source said. This trade may give James much more faith in Altman as a general manager. It would be hard to believe that Altman could have landed a better trade than the Boston one. He did call the uninterested Warriors about Klay Thompson, a source said.
Though there's no other information available here, you have to believe this was proposed as a potential three-team deal. Sending Irving to the Warriors directly would make no sense, since they already have a better point guard in Steph Curry, and a Curry-Irving backcourt wouldn't work. Thompson would be a great fit on the Cavs, and any team really, but the trade possibility doesn't really hold up to any scrutiny. And if it was a straight-up offer, it's no wonder the Warriors were reportedly "uninterested."
Twitter was just as skeptical about this move as the Warriors front office apparently was.
The Cavs wanted to trade Kyrie for Klay Thompson. Cavs trying to steal Warriors shooters. Warriors said... pic.twitter.com/XzvEtnBsBo— NinerNabs (@NinerNabs49) August 23, 2017
*Cleveland calls Golden State*— Henry (@seminole4life22) August 23, 2017
Cavs: We'll trade you Kyrie for Klay Thompson
Kyrie for Klay Thompson? Dan Gilbert had to have been drunk dialing.— Rich Porter (@TrillestAC) August 23, 2017
If you don't ask, the answer is always no, so I don't blame Altman for shooting his shot even a little bit. He ended up getting a really strong package in return for a disgruntled star, one ESPN reports was planning on skipping training camp if he didn't get traded, and that's more than most GMs put in similar positions can claim.