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According to former Cleveland Cavaliers GM David Griffin, Kyrie Irving has the Boston Celtics slated as one of the teams he'd prefer to be traded to. Griffin said yesterday on ESPN's The Jump that Irving has the Celtics as an ideal landing spot. Via Nicole Yang of Boston.com:

“I think this is a guy who wants to know how good he can be,” Griffin continued. “The teams on his list—you know, Gordon Hayward in Boston and Kawhi Leonard in San Antonio—he would be accompanying other great players. It’s not like he’s asking to lead a rag-tag bunch. He just wanted to put himself in a position, I think, where he could find out exactly what he has entering his prime.”

Notice Griffin mentioned Gordon Hayward being in Boston, but neglected to mention Isaiah Thomas - who I think most of us would imagine being included in any deal for Irving. Although watching those two guys teamed up on the offensive end would be a joy to watch I can't fathom what the defensive side of the ball would look like with those two at the 1 and 2.

The Cavs are in a really tough spot right now, and my thinking is trading them Isaiah for Kyrie bails them out in a big way. The debate over Kyrie vs IT can be had for sure, but the Celtics sending Thomas to Cleveland in any exchange probably gives a franchise in turmoil one of their best-case-scenarios on a return for Irving for this coming season with LeBron James likely headed out of town next offseason. An IT for Irving swap, even if it was straight up (which it obviously wouldn't be), keeps them right about where they are now, which could very well still be a clear step ahead of Boston in the Eastern Conference pecking order.

Griffin went on to talk about "the courage" Irving displayed by asking Cavs owner Dan Gilbert for a deal:

“I think Kyrie’s going to end up being traded,” Griffin said before lauding the 25-year-old for his decision to speak up about the dissatisfaction with his current team. “He went to Dan Gilbert privately, told him that he thought he would be happier somewhere else … Most guys don’t have the courage to do what he did.”

Spare me the courage talk, Griff. This is a guy who saw the writing on the wall with LeBron almost certainly headed out of town next offseason and wanted to get the jump on putting himself in a better situation in terms of his future. Kudos to him I suppose, but I certainly wouldn't call that brave.

Griffin also mentioned that most of the teams on Kyrie's list including situations with great coaches in place - a la Brad Stevens and Gregg Popovich:

“This is a guy whose list included really good coaching situations: Brad Stevens, [Gregg] Popovich,” he said. “I see this as looking for a fit for himself to take the next step in his career.”

Live look in at Cavaliers coach Ty Lue as Irving heads for the door:


via GIPHY


Photo Credit - USA Today Sports

Follow Mark on Twitter: @MarkAL401

Mark Allison 8/08/2017 10:36:00 AM Edit
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