Before we start with the main text of the article it is important to note a couple things: I do not believe the Cavs will trade Kyrie Irving or am I advocating for such to happen. Instead I am postulating on a possible trade that could make sense if the Cavs are looking to trade Irving.
This weekend we looked at the possibility of the Cleveland Cavaliers building their team around Dion Waiters. That article, while short and to the point, naturally brings up what to do with franchise player Kyrie Irving. To all who have watched the Cavaliers this year Irving has been off. Whether its a physical issue, a mental issue or just a slump, Irving’s game has been different this year then in the past 2 when he looked like the future of the NBA.
Irving has vacillated between dominating the ball for the entire shot clock, dribbling around screen after screen, and passively passing the ball around the outside. Irving has forced shot after shot at the rim after finally beating his defender with the dribble and has struggled setting up his teammates and getting them involved. His spot up shooting form does not look square to the rim, instead he has taken to cocking his shoulder before the shot. This is in stark contrast to the past 2 years, as well as his form while shooting on the move.
Is this just a slump, fluke season or something more? Is there something going on behind the scenes with the Cavaliers that has led to this? Is it bad enough that the Cavs may look to move Irving and build around someone else? If they do look to move Irving they should expect the world in return. While many options may be out there, and interesting to explore, one option may be the biggest and best available for the team moving forward.
The Cleveland Cavaliers trade Kyrie Irving (and players to match salaries) to the Philadelphia 76ers for the 6ers 2014 1st Round Pick, the New Orleans Pelicans Top 5 Protected 2014 1st Round Pick and Evan Turner
What a whopper of a trade right? The Cavs trade their franchise player to acquire 3 shots at 2 or 3 top players in the loaded 2014 draft.Turner is a interesting piece if the trade is made in season, if made before/during the 2014 draft a future 1st and another player could be added to the deal instead.
For the Sixers
The Sixers give up 2 possible star players for a known commodity in Irving. The Sixers take a bet that Irving is still on course to be the future of the league and pair him with 6’6″ Michael Carter Williams and a recovering Nerlens Noel as the centerpieces of their franchise. Bringing in Irving during the season likely increases their win total dropping their pick’s lottery odds down a few notches.
Irving moves on from Cleveland and back nearer to his hometown in New Jersey. He is surrounded by Williams who can handle the ball as well and Noel who provides the defense and alley oop partner many expected Irving to be partnered with in Cleveland before the 2013 draft. Irving gets a kick to his ego by the trade which should help him overcome any issues he may be having in Cleveland.
Turner returns to the state he starred in during college, at The Ohio State University. Turner becomes the first NBA starter type small forward on the Cavaliers since Lebron James left. He is paired with Dion Waiters, Tristan Thompson and Andrew Bynum in efforts to show off for his next contract. Turner, burdened by being the #2 overall pick and supposedly a “franchise guy,” can relax as a part of a team possibly.
For the Cavs
The Cavs make a huge move, bigger then the Browns moving Trent Richardson, with the hopes that they can build a young dynamic team. This move will add to their lottery odds and should give them 3 picks in the lottery, barring the Pelicans getting a top 5 pick or making the playoffs. The move most likely takes them out of the James race as well. Instead the Cavs use the 3 picks in the lottery either to move up or to define the future of their team. Building around Waiters, possibly Turner, Thompson and maybe Bynum along with 3 studs from the 2014 draft class means the team tries to rebuild quickly. Can Waiters be the main ball handler/player on a team? Is Turner and/or Bynum worth long term investments? Can the Cavs get lucky in the lottery and bring in 2 or 3 franchise level players?
As stated in the beginning, this is highly unlikely to happen, yet what if it did? Fans would hate it to start with but would they come around? Could the Cavs make a franchise changing move, for the good or bad? Could they set themselves up for years of failure while Irving succeeds in Philly? Could they be the next dynasty with the 2014 draft and their current players on board? What do you think?