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Kyrie Irving seeks trade to leave Cleveland Cavaliers
A year after winning title, point guard seeks to step out of LeBron James' shadow
NBA.com staff reports
Just 13 months after the Cleveland Cavaliers won their first championship, the organization is rife with instability.
Owner Dan Gilbert couldn’t come to terms with general manager David Griffin on a new contract. LeBron James will likely be a free agent next summer and there is already chatter about him leaving Cleveland a second time. Kevin Love has been at the center of trade rumors as the Cavs try to upgrade their roster.
And now, the real bombshell: Kyrie Irving wants out. ESPN’s Brian Windhorst has the story…
Kyrie Irving is ready to end his run with the Cleveland Cavaliers, as league sources told ESPN that the guard has asked the team to trade him.
The request came last week and was made to Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert. Irving has expressed that he wants to go play in a situation where he can be a more focal point and no longer wants to play alongside LeBron James, sources said.
James was informed of Irving’s request and was blindsided and disappointed, sources said. Other members of the team have learned of Irving’s intentions in recent days as well.
NBA.com’s David Aldridge confirmed the report.
Irving has three more years on his current contract, though he has a player option in 2019-20 and will likely be a free agent in 2019. His *usage rate of 30.2 percent last season was the highest of his career, but was much higher with James off the floor (41.7 percent) than with James on the floor (26.8 percent).
* Usage rate = Percentage of team’s possessions a player uses while on the floor.
With James on the floor, Irving averaged 18.2 shots and 23.2 points per 36 minutes last season. With James off the floor, he averaged 27.2 shots and 35.2 points per 36.
UPDATE: ESPN’s Chris Haynes reports that Irving has four ideal destinations.
ESPN Sources: On Kyrie Irving front, Cavs were given four preferred landing spots: New York, Miami, San Antonio, Minnesota.
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) July 21, 2017