Maybe Kyrie Irving’s departure from the Cleveland Cavaliers wasn’t one-sided after all.
While the exact reason for Irving’s exit still is anyone’s guess, the general understanding is that Irving requested a trade out of Cleveland, which the Cavs ultimately obliged to by dealing him to the Boston Celtics in late August.
Although starting a new chapter might have been on Irving’s mind last offseason, it apparently was thought about by members of the Cavaliers’ front office as well.
In a report for ESPN, Dave McMenamin revealed a group of Cleveland’s front-office personnel met on NBA draft day this past summer to discuss Irving’s future if trade talks were to arise. While McMenamin reports these conversations simply were “small talk,” they ultimately got back to Irving, who reportedly didn’t take kindly to the discussions.
“It was sloppy,” a source told McMenamin, adding that “any talk about trading a player of Irving’s ilk — however informal it might be — should be handled strictly between the GM and owner, because of the sensitive nature of its content. Once a player feels expendable or undervalued from his own team, getting him to buy back in is a prickly proposition,” McMenamin writes.
Although Irving seems to have no regrets about his decision, one has to imagine if he’d still be in Cleveland had it not been for these reported talks. And if he did end up staying with the Cavs, they’d surely have a much better chance of retaining LeBron James in the offseason.