July 21, 2017

Kyrie is butt-hurt, LeBron is WTF and Ainge is salivating

Kyrie Irving
OK, here's the verschnizzle on all that.

In case you haven't heard, Kyrie Irving says he wants the Cleveland Cavaliers to trade him because he doesn't want to play wingman to LeBron James any more. Yeah, jaw drop. One ring and two other Finals trips will do that, I guess?

Sidebar: Well, maybe you DON'T have a superteam, LeBron.

Irving mentioned the Spurs, the Knicks, the T-Wolves and the Heat.

Let's look at a couple, while noting I'm not sure how easy the salary cap matches would be for each one.

Carmelo Anthony
The Knicks? Shit, Carmelo Anthony has to have a salary near enough. Yeah, sounds like Kyrie could be a bit of a headache, but if I have the chance to put him beside The Unicorn, Kristaps Porzingis, I do it. Or maybe Melo goes to the Rockets or otherwise becomes part of a three-team trade. Hmm.

And, my guess, at least on a potential deal is right, with the third team reportedly the Suns.

The Spurs? Pops likes defense. Kyrie doesn't. And, just as Kawhi Leonard is making that his team, Kyrie would have to accept playing second banana to him. And, who do you trade for him? An ill-fitting LaMarcus Aldridge, re the salary cap?

The Timberwolves? Tom Thibodeau definitely likes defense. He'd have to play about fifth banana to Karl-Anthony Towns, Andrew Wiggins, Jimmy Butler and Taj Gibson.

The Heat? Pat Riley would move heaven and earth to make that happen. And, it probably could. Stay tuned. Goran Dragic would be a near fit on cap. If Cleveland owner/meddler Dan Gilbert could be placated with a draft choice or something as well ... that could be a trade.

Any snark aside, Knicks, Heat, Spurs, T-Wolves, in order, are my guesses of trade likelihoods. And now, Red Satan reviews some of the trade possibilities. ESPN also goes further down the road of "Is Kyrie 'all that,' and if not, what is he?"

If you believe advanced defensive metrics and other things, he is NOT all that. In turn, that may affect how much smarter teams will pay for him. The Knicks aren't "smarter teams," but the other three on Irving's top-four list definitely are.

Back in Cleveland ...

LeBron James
LeBron was blindsided and disappointed. And he's keeping hands off. Kevin Love is reportedly pretending to chill.

And, if he wasn't sure about going to the Lakers next year, as rumored, well this will probably increase that incentive.

Even if the Cavs hold on to Irving rather than trading him, that's an icy clubhouse in months ahead.

Now, to Beantown.

GM Danny Ainge, just having landed Gordon Hayward as a free agent, and still having stockpiled draft choices, is salivating at a gutted Cavs team.

He's just going to salivate, while trying to be patient at the same time.

(Update, Aug. 24: Ainge was salivating until he pounced in for the trade.)

Update, Sept. 20: Kyrie bunny-hops around Stephen A. and Max attempting to grill him.

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