With a budding superstar in Kyrie Irving, the Cleveland Cavaliers had high hopes before the season started and that they will be one of the playoff contenders in the Eastern Conference. The rest of the East is looking like a showdown between the Miami heat and Indiana Pacers. Find some free NBA picks from an expert for today’s games.
The Cavaliers did try to improve the team by trading for small forward Luol Deng earlier this season. However, Cleveland’s performance hasn’t improved owing to lack of chemistry and perhaps, lack of talent in the roster.
The Cavs infamously drafted Anthony Bennett as the first overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft making them the laughingstock in the league this season as the 22-year-old is looking like a bust every time he hits the floor.
Irving, who was named as an NBA All-Star reserve in New Orleans this February, is dismayed with the fact that his team still cannot contend for anything significant in his third year in the league. Irving has averaged 21.5 PPG, 3.5 RPG and 5.8 APG in 42 games for the Cavs this season.
With a disgruntled Irving, the Cavaliers front office may have no choice but to trade away their star PG lest they want to go through “The Decision” once again—when they lost LeBron James for nothing via free agency in 2010.
Irving has two year left in his contract and the deal expires after 2014-2015. The 21-year-old should be due for a huge extension at around the $12M to $15M range. The question if is he’s willing to sign that superstar max deal with Cleveland.
Via ESPN’s Trade Machine, here is a trade scenario with the Nuggets involving Irving:
Cleveland Cavaliers – Denver Nuggets Trade
K. Irving ($5.6M) + J. Jack ($6.3M) + A. Varejao ($9.1M) for T. Lawson ($10.7M) + D. Gallinari ($10.1M)
Logic for the Cavaliers: Yes, both Lawson and Gallinari are owed multi-million in multi-years but that also means they have them locked down for the next seasons. Reloading rather than rebuild as Lawson and Gallinari have star potential and good building blocks.
Logic for the Nuggets: They get their star PG in Irving, who has more upside than the undersized Lawson and get serviceable players in Jack and Varejao.