Is Kyrie Irving trying to get out of Cleveland already?
The Cavs season hasn't exactly gone as planned, and could be getting worse. In his weekly chat, ESPN.com's Chad Ford mentioned that Irving has been telling people he wants out:
Virtually every GM in the league believes that Grant will be gone this summer if things don't get turned around this season. He doesn't have much time. The thinking is that there's no way Dan Gilbert is going to let him make another lottery pick if that's the direction the Cavs end up heading. Grant's goal (via his owner) is to get this team competitive and into the playoffs. The Deng move was supposed to help. But so far ... nothing. Chemistry is a major issue there and some of that is on Mike Brown. But more of it is on the collection of players in Cleveland at the moment. Something has to happen quick. Kyrie Irving has been telling people privately he wants out. Cleveland can't afford to lose him and LeBron. They know the urgency. I expect them to be major players at the deadline.
This was in response to a question about the current job security of Mike Brown and Chris Grant.
Does this mean much? Who knows. Kyrie is clearly a star and clearly the Cavs best player. But has struggled with injuries and has been on losing teams for the first two and a half years of his career.
Remember, Irving cannot be an unrestricted free agent until 2016, and has to go through a lot of risk to get there. Chances are incredibly skim he turns down that 5 year max. Later in the chat, Ford responded to a question (sort of) from our very own David Zavac. Ford attempted to soften his initial statement about Kyrie and reiterates how difficult it would be for him to leave the Cavs.
Since this story has gone out, other members of the media have put in what they know as well:
Steve Kyler, of basketballinsiders.com, shared his thoughts:
This is not a unique state pertaining to Kyrie Irving. Most of that locker room is frustrated. I know the front office is frustrated
This is not a unique state pertaining to Kyrie Irving. Most of that locker room is frustrated. I know the front office is frustrated— Steve Kyler (@stevekylerNBA) January 30, 2014
The truth of the situation is that Kyrie doesn't not have a lot of control over his situation - he has no leverage to force a trade.
The truth of the situation is that Kyrie doesn't not have a lot of control over his situation - he has no leverage to force a trade.— Steve Kyler (@stevekylerNBA) January 30, 2014
Sam Amico, of FoxSports Ohio had some info here
- OK, now about that Kyrie Irving rumor. Chad Ford of ESPN wrote in a Thursday chat that Irving has been "telling people privately that he wants out." My guess is Irving will deny that sometime before or after tonight's game. Goodness knows, he'll be asked. It's New York.
-- Irving may or may not be saying that privately, I don't know. He and I don't have private conversations.
-- I do know this: Irving's dad, Drederick Irving, hasn't been so private in his irritation with how Kyrie is being used this season. Drederick Irving has basically been sharing his agitation with anyone who will listen.
-- I also know this: If your family isn't happy, well, let's leave it at that.
-- There's a segment of the Cavs' fan base (and media) that encouraged the team to lose the past two seasons to get a better draft pick. It's an OK theory, but as I spent the past two years preaching, that sort of plan never sits well with the players. The long-term results of losing are rarely good. Playing the lottery, draft picks, assets, etc... players never care about that stuff. They want to win.
-- I'm not saying Kyrie wants to leave. I am saying that athletes in all sports and at every level hate to lose. And when you're a great athlete who plays a team sport, and you keep losing, you rarely blame yourself. That's just the reality of life.
-- There's more to this story, but all we can do is go by what Kyrie Irving says. We should let him address it and take it from there. But I don't think he wants to leave. I think he wants the game to be fun again. He can't be having fun this season. No one can. If the Cavs can turn it around, and sustain it, Kyrie isn't going anywhere. For now, let's leave it at that.
-- OK, about that winning. The Cavs aren't doing it. The offense is stagnant and the defense is worse. They've played an ugly brand of basketball and the results are anything but pretty. Someone has to step forward in the locker room and show some resolve.
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