Kyrie Irving, who requested a trade to the Cavaliers, reportedly prefers to be dealt to the Knicks, Heat, Spurs or Timberwolves.
Might there be a fifth team on Irving’s list?
Former Cavaliers general manager David Griffin – while commending Irving – twice alluded to the Celtics.
Griffin on ESPN:
This is a guy whose list included really good coaching situations – Brad Stevens and Popovich.
The teams on his list – Gordon Hayward in Boston and Kawhi Leonard in San Antonio – he would be accompanying other great players.
I still think it’s possible Griffin confused details during his first TV appearance, but he brought up Boston twice. That makes a mix-up less likely.
Griffin was already out in Cleveland before Irving requested a trade from Cavs owner Dan Gilbert, but Griffin still knows people in the organization. He could have inside information.
The asset-rich Celtics will be linked to every star who becomes available. With Isaiah Thomas – three years older than Irving and seeking max contract – entering free agency, it’d make sense for the Celtics to consider trading for Irving. A swap based on Thomas-for-Irving could help the Cavaliers win a title in LeBron James‘ last season before free agency and help Boston contend once Cleveland has fallen off.
Irving – locked up two more years and without a no-trade clause – holds little sway where he goes. But the more confidence the Celtics have that Irving would re-sign in 2019, the more they’d deal for him. If Irving wants to join Boston, that means something.
Robert Horry said he left the Lakers with “so much hatred for that team.”
Back in Los Angeles for his son’s basketball game last weekend, Horry didn’t look happier.
Witnesses tell us a man affiliated with the opposing team was heckling Horry throughout the game when he approached R.H. and pushed him.
“The guy was trash talking the whole game. He shoved me. Where I’m from, you protect yourself.”
R.H. — a 7x NBA champion — says he ultimately decided to walk away rather than continue to fight, knowing he was “the only one who was gonna lose in this situation.”
Horry claims this isn’t the first time the guy has been verbally abusive … saying he’s trash talked his son’s team in the past.
It’s a shame nobody deescalated this situation, especially around children. It seems the other man (who pushed Horry first), Horry and tournament officials all failed in that regard.
The Timberwolves are adding a guard.
No, not Kyrie Irving.
Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:
Georges-Hunt is a borderline NBA player. After going undrafted out of Georgia Tech last year, he signed a 10-day contract with the Heat then played for the Magic.
Orlando waived him, but the waiver process encapsulated his place in the league. Bobby Marks of ESPN:
I wouldn’t be surprised if Georges-Hunt is getting a standard contract or two-way contract from Minnesota. Either is plausible.
At 6-foot-6 and 220 pounds, Georges-Hunt is a big guard who shot 3-pointers well in the D-League last season. If he sustains that – even with limited playmaking and athleticism – he’ll stick in the NBA long enough to show whether or not his size can translate to good defense at that level. If either skill doesn’t hold up, he’ll wash out.
Not everything LeBron James says and does is about Kyrie Irving.
But with Irving’s trade request the NBA’s predominant storyline, it’s hard not to read LeBron’s social-media postings (and Irving’s, for that matter) as indirect shots between the Cavaliers’ stars.
Is LeBron just posting a clean version of a lyric from Drake’s “Portland” because he likes the song? Maybe. Is it directed at someone other than Irving? Perhaps.
But might LeBron just be acting petty and passive-aggressive? That wouldn’t be out of character, either, and this response would fit what we know of the Irving-LeBron breakdown.
David Griffin has plenty of insight into handling Kyrie Irving.
What does the former Cavaliers general manager make of Irving’s trade request?
Griffin on ESPN:
I don’t think this is youth and ignorance. This is a guy who handled the situation like he was supposed to. He went to Dan Gilbert privately, told him that he thought he would happier somewhere else. The absolute worst thing this guy could have done was pretend to be all in and sink the ship within. Most guys don’t have the courage to do what he did. So, that’s not youth and ignorance. That’s a little bit more courage than people give him credit for.
I agree with Griffin.
I might value playing for a championship contender above all else. You might value playing for a championship contender above all else. Irving needn’t necessarily share our values.
He has seemingly been up front with the Cavs, and – far as we know – never threated to become unprofessional if they don’t trade him. Remember, Irving’s trade request stayed under wraps for weeks. It seems unlikely he or his camp leaked it.
I do wonder how Griffin would explain the situation if he were still running Cleveland’s front office, though. It’s easier to be understanding when Irving’s decision no longer affects you directly. Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert and new general manager Koby Altman struck a different tone about Irving’s request.