Written By: Conner Pack
Since losing to the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals it has been complete dysfunction in Cleveland. Week after week it seems to be one thing after another. It started when former general manager David Griffin and the Cavaliers decided to part ways, just a couple of days before the NBA Draft. From that point on all we’ve heard out of Cleveland is negativity. Then last Friday the dysfunction in my opinion reached its peak when news broke that Kyrie Irving had asked to be traded.
Once the news broke, rumors and best trade options began to swirl. Then Monday night, Stephen A. Smith put out a quote that he had gotten from someone in LeBron’s camp “if Kyrie Irving was in front of LeBron James right now, LeBron James would be tempted to beat his ass“. Whether you believe it or not, it’s out there now and all we can do is speculate. If you ask me it’s a bit harsh. I can understand LeBron being a little pissed, but beating someone’s ass… I don’t know about all that.
But I’m not here to harp on who’s going to beat whose ass, because in reality no one is going to beat anyone’s ass. LeBron and Kyrie aren’t stupid. All this does is solidify that the marriage between Kyrie and LeBron is over. And that they don’t care to play on the same team. That’s it.
Now that I’ve gotten that out-of-the-way let’s think about what the best case scenario would be for all parties involved.
– Best Case Scenario for Kyrie
The best thing for Kyrie is to be traded as soon as possible. That way he can get to know his new team and create some chemistry before the season starts. What team would be the best fit? In my opinion it would be the Boston Celtics. But for this article we’ll stick to the four teams he told the Cavaliers management. Those teams were the Spurs, Knicks, Heat, and Timberwolves.
Kyrie has made it known that he wants to be the star or focal point of what ever team he ends up playing on. Knowing that, I think it’s safe to say he won’t end up with the Spurs. Because Kawhi Leonard is the star down there and Popovich doesn’t deal with divas. As for the Knicks, Heat, and Timberwolves I think he would be a solid fit for any of those teams.
If the Timberwolves could find a way to make a trade and not lose much I think the Timberwolves would be the best destination. They just added Jimmy Butler and they’re loaded with a ton of young talent. They’ve also got a really good head coach. But it’s highly unlikely the Timberwolves would be able to make that trade without giving up a lot. So let’s mark the Timberwolves off the list.
The Heat or Knicks will probably be where he’ll end up if the Cavaliers decide to trade him. I’m not sure who the Heat would trade in order to get Kyrie. As for the Knicks, it’s pretty obvious the Knicks could send Carmelo to the Cavaliers in exchange for Kyrie. Porzingis and Kyrie? It might work.
– Best Case Scenario for LeBron
The best thing for LeBron is to just ride it out. I will say though the negative publicity that’s came from all this isn’t good but it’ll blow over like most incidents in the NBA. By next week there will be a new story and we’ll have something else to talk about.
Back to what’s best for LeBron, he’s got one year left on his contract in Cleveland and then he’ll be free to make his next move. Which I think will be leaving Cleveland and heading out west. So I think the best thing for him is to just lay low (which probably won’t happen) and play ball this season. If he and Kyrie can come to some sort of agreement than that would be great. But it doesn’t seem like that will happen anytime soon.
– Best Case Scenario for Cleveland
The Cavaliers are between a rock and a hard place. They have the rising super star in Kyrie Irving who is the future. Then on the other side they have the home town guy and king of Cleveland in LeBron James. On one hand, if you trade Kyrie you could be giving away the future if LeBron indeed does leave after next season. On the other hand, if you trade away LeBron James you risk major backlash from the city of Cleveland.
I say that because look at LeBron’s track record, he’s been known to up and leave leaving teams high and dry. First he did it to Cleveland back in 2010, but for good reason the Cavaliers did not help in building a team around him. Then he did it to Miami back in 2014 after losing to the Spurs in the finals 4-1. So what’s not to say he won’t do it again? The only offseason move the Cavaliers have made is signing Derrick Rose and that just happened this week. And we all know this isn’t the same Derrick Rose that won the MVP a couple of years ago.
– Final Thoughts
All I’m saying is the Cavaliers as a whole are in a sticky situation all around. I think it’s about time they blow it up and start over. The team they have right now is a team that LeBron constructed. Kyrie is pulling a LeBron on LeBron. He doesn’t want to be left with a team that LeBron constructed and that isn’t capable of contending for a championship. It’s just a dysfunctional mess that no one has the answer to.