It sounds like Kyrie Irving’s displeasure with the Cleveland Cavaliers may have gone further than his desire to lead a team on his own.
ESPN’s Dave McMenamin said on the BBall Breakdown podcast that during the playoffs, Irving went days without talking to teammates.
McMenamin said that it could be a factor for the Phoenix Suns, a potential trade partner for Irving who also hired Cavs forward James Jones to the front office this season.
“Phoenix, of course, hired James Jones this offseason,” McMenamin said. “He’s been inside that locker room … He saw Kyrie Irving in the playoffs this year — in between the first round when they beat Indiana and the second round when they played Toronto — go consecutive days without speaking to a teammate at practice. On that stage.”
McMenamin added that players have their ups and downs in the regular season, but in the intensity and spotlight of the playoffs, Irving’s actions may have been eye-opening to some, including Jones.
ESPN had previously reported that former Cavs GM David Griffin was aware of Irving’s occasional displeasure with his role and would often talk to him and try to keep him content.
Trade talks around Irving have seemingly cooled in recent weeks as the Cavs search for the best offer. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski said on “Mike and Mike” that he believes Cleveland is eyeing trades that may not help them this year, but will set them up nicely for the future, in the event that both Irving and LeBron James aren’t there.
As Wojnarowski said, given all that has come to the surface this offseason about relationships within the Cavs, the team may look to deal Irving before training camps start in six weeks to avoid any awkwardness. That puts the Cavs on the clock and could mean one of the NBA’s biggest stars will be on the move soon.
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