The introduction of Kyrie Irving to the trade market this summer has made this offseason crazier than most. As one would expect, multiple teams have reportedly been in contact with the Cleveland Cavaliers about what it would take to acquire the young All-Star. With the Cavs front office being tight lipped, it’s caused a lot of speculation and very few facts to go off of.
But when you look at the numerous rumors and reports out there, the one team that gets associated with Irving the most frequently is the Phoenix Suns. The Suns have a large collection of young assets and a win now player in Eric Bledsoe that isn’t part of their long-term plans. But to this point, it doesn’t appear as though they are willing to part with their newly drafted rookie Josh Jackson in a deal for Irving.
Without Jackson, it appears unlikely that the Suns would be able to make the best offer available for Irving. The Cavs have demonstrated patience to this point and seem unwilling to make a trade unless it meets their asking price.
In a recent interview with SiriusXM NBA Radio, Jackson expressed his skepticism over being included in a trade for Irving:
“I think if that was going to happen, it would’ve happened by now. A little talking to my agent, not really checking social media, because that’s not the way to go. People just say whatever. I handled it the same way I tried to handle Draft Night. Coming in, I didn’t know what was going to happen, I still don’t know what is going to happen. I’m going to make the most of whatever situation I’m presented with. If I’m traded to China, whatever, I’m gonna come out, I’m gonna be happy, just try to make the best of it.
“I was kind of in the dark a little bit. But I got a feeling that the trade wasn’t going to happen.”
(Transcribed via Yahoo! Sports)
It’s hard to disagree with Jackson. If the Suns were willing to include him, the deal likely would have taken place. Phoenix just isn’t in a position where they should be a buyer for Irving. While they can make a fair offer for him, there just wouldn’t be much left to make them a successful team after the trade, or to encourage him to stay.
It’s still possible that the Suns change their mind and get this deal done. However, at this point, it just doesn’t seem like the most likely landing spot for Irving. If Phoenix does get involved, I would guess that it would likely be as a third team.