Now hold on, I’m not saying the Cavs should trade Kyrie. But if he truly wants to be somewhere else, there is no reason to try to force it. Kyrie might be afraid that LeBron leaves, and for that, I can’t blame him for wanting to set himself up for the long-term. If he’s just tired of being Robin for a championship team, that’s a bit less respectable. Either way, the Cavs could trade Kyrie, have a better overall team, and give LeBron a reason to stay in Cleveland for the foreseeable future.
Suns get: Kyrie Irving, Channing Frye
Cavs get: Eric Bledsoe, TJ Warren, Marquese Chriss, and Phoenix 2018 top-3 protected first round pick
Bledsoe, who is represented by the same agency as LeBron, is in his prime as a dynamic scoring guard. He’s not near the shooter Kyrie is, but he can be a top-level defender when healthy. Warren is also shooting challenged, but he could be a top scorer on the second unit to avoid those painful dry spells when LeBron takes a rest. Chriss could be the real difference maker in this deal. At only 20, he already has supreme athleticism and a good outside stroke (71 made threes). He can also switch screens effectively, something needed against a team like Golden State. Add in a possible lottery pick for next year, and the Cavs are deeper, younger, and better set up for the future.
Nuggets get: Kyrie Irving, Channing Frye
Cavs get: Gary Harris, Jamal Murray, Kenneth Faried, Wilson Chandler
The Nuggets would probably be reaching to make this deal, but the trio of Kyrie, Paul Milsap, and Nikola Jokic would be a lot of fun. For the Cavs, Harris is a budding 3-and-D stud who shot 42% from three a year ago. Murray took a while to get going, but he is a 6-foot-5 combo guard that can make plays. That growth would only escalate alongside LeBron. Faried is rebounding machine that would boost their bench and Chandler is a gifted offensive vet that can put up 20 on any given night. To make this move even more impressive, the Cavs could still sign Derrick Rose and give Murray some more time to learn the position.
Heat get: Kyrie Irving
Bucks get: Tristan Thompson, Evan Fournier
Magic Get: John Henson, Matthew Dellavedova, Iman Shumpert, Miami Heat 2019 unprotected first round pick, Milwaukee Bucks 2018 top-10 protected first round pick
Cavs get: Goran Dragic, Tyler Johnson, Justice Winslow, Jabari Parker, Nikola Vucevic
There are a lot of moving parts to this deal. The main piece is obviously that the Heat get Kyrie. Orlando is just setting themselves up for a strong rebuild, as Fournier has expressed frustrations waiting to win and Vucevic is going to be dealt before he walks in free agency. The Cavs return is enormous in this deal. Dragic averaged a quiet 20 points a game last year and is experienced playing on and off the ball. Johnson is an explosive energy guard that is capable of lighting it up off the bench. Winslow and Parker’s health are in question, but they could be the reason LeBron stays. Parker looks like a young Carmelo when on the court and Winslow is a lockdown defender that could at least slow Kevin Durant down. Throw in Vucevic, who averaged 14.6 points and 10.4 rebounds last year, and the Cavs would have Golden State shaking.