Where Could Kyrie Actually Be Traded?
Once the news became public that Kyrie Irving wanted out of Cleveland and that he requested a trade, the conversation went two ways: How could Kyrie want to leave Lebron and where could he realistically be traded?
Let's tackle the ladder.
In my mind there are three teams from the East and three teams from the West that have a legit shot at obtaining Irving.
Out West, it seems more likely that the Cavs would be willing to trade him to a good team knowing that would only help their chances in the Finals as a contender with Kyrie could only mean more of a struggle for Golden State.
The three teams that have the pieces and could pull off the trade are Phoenix, Portland and Denver.
Denver and Phoenix would both be sending less talent than I think Portland could if they were to strike a deal.
If the Cavs were to send Kyrie to Phoenix, it would be a package that would likely include Eric Bledsoe and Tyson Chandler going to Cleveland.
If the Cavs were to send Kyrie to Denver, guys like Gary Harris, Jamaal Murray or Kenneth Faried would be included.
Both of those cases would also include the possibility of draft picks returning to Cleveland as well.
The Portland deal however is one that I think would be ideal for both parties. Swap Lillard for Irving and work out the other parts. The contracts would work out well and this way Kyrie is out of Cleveland and the Cavs return comparable talent.
Back in the Eastern Conference, the New York Knicks, Milwaukee Bucks and Philadelphia 76ers seem like possible landing spots in my opinion.
Philly has been trusting the process and the fans would be trusting the process a lot more if Kyrie showed up in town. There is so much young talent there with so many picks that the Cavs could add to the present roster while still looking toward a post Lebron era.
You will always hear the Knicks in the conversation until Melo is moved elsewhere. Bananna Boat Crew, need I say more?
The Bucks are a team with assets and picks and if the Cavs are solely looking toward the future then they may come into play as well.
You don't see Minnesota and San Antonio and both teams have reasons why a deal for Irving most likely wont work out. San Antonio doesn't have any pieces that would make sense without future lottery picks attached and Minnesota can't trade Jeff Teague until December and there is no way they trade Wiggins and have two point guards making that much money on one roster.
If a trade does occur, my guess it will be to New York, Portland or Phoenix.
All that said, watch out for a stunner in this ever evolving situation as I contend they may just say no thanks to any trades and keep Kyrie. They control his rights and the right decision may be to hold on to a disgruntled superstar in the name of winning now.