If you believe former Cleveland Cavaliers general manager David Griffin, the Boston Celtics have a shot at landing Kyrie Irving in a trade. But the All-Star guard wouldn’t come cheap.
In an article on the Cavs’ offseason strategy Tuesday, ESPN insider Adrian Wojnarowski explained that Cleveland is bracing for the possibility that LeBron James will depart in free agency next summer, which would signal a need for a rebuild. As such, the Cavs only would trade Irving if they can get draft picks and/or young assets in return.
More specifically, Cleveland is “fixated” on acquiring a “young star” and is focused on four players, Wojnarowski reported, citing league sources: New York Knicks forward Kristaps Porzingis, Phoenix Suns rookie Josh Jackson, Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray and Celtics top draft pick Jayson Tatum.
Tatum hasn’t been mentioned in many Celtics-Cavs trade scenarios for Irving, most of which have involved Boston giving up point guard Isaiah Thomas, forward Jae Crowder and a first-round pick. But Wojnarowski noted Tatum could put the C’s over the hump, as president of basketball operations Danny Ainge and Co. could offer “the best combination of short-term (Isaiah Thomas and Jae Crowder) and long-term (Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, picks) assets.”
Yet would the C’s be willing to part with Tatum, who supposedly was at the top of Ainge’s draft board ahead of Markelle Fultz, Lonzo Ball and Jackson? Per Wojnarowski, Boston is aware that the Cavs are “mostly intrigued with Tatum,” but the sides haven’t formally discussed a deal.
Teams expect Cleveland to pick up Irving talks in September as the regular season draws nearer, according to Wojnarowski, so we could find out soon if the two Eastern Conference rivals decide to do business.
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