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  1. #1

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    Post Article Submission: Kyrie and LeBron aka Kobe and Shaq 2.0

    Who would ever have thought the Kyrie Irving and LeBron James duo would be the new age Kobe and Shaq duo, just with one less conference title, two less rings, but all the same delicious drama?
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    Apparently Kyrie feels he is a Kobe type talent. He's not, not even close, but everyone has the freedom to be wrong and Kyrie is exercising that freedom, so more power to him.

    Now, while the Cavs have 90% of the leverage in this situation as Kyrie does not hold a "no trade clause" and they could just ship him to a basketball wasteland like Sacramento or Atlanta, Kyrie's camp has reportedly made it crystal clear that there are only four teams on his "wish list" and they are: San Antonio, New York, Miami and Minnesota. This being the case, many teams who otherwise would love to add Kyrie, such as the Suns (who could offer Eric Bledsoe and Josh Jackson) and Kings (who could offer De'Aaron Fox, Buddy Hield and the contract of Kosta Koufos to make the salaries work) may not offer the Cavs anywhere near market value for Kyrie, let alone a King's ransom, for fear that Kyrie will not sign an extension with them when the time comes. In short, such teams won't pony up for a mere rental of Kyrie.

    All of the above said, let's look at how Kyrie can end up on one of his four "wish list" teams and what the Cavs can get in return by sending him there:

    San Antonio: The Spurs won't offer Kawhi for Kyrie and they could offer every single one of their other players for Kyrie and the Cavs would turn them down, so, as I see it, it is next to impossible for Kyrie to end up a Spur, period.

    New York: The Knicks could easily get Kyrie if they traded Melo and Porzingis, but the plan is to have Kyrie and Porzingis playing together ... that makes a deal to the Knicks very difficult. However, it's still possible but I believe the Knicks would have to give up Melo, Frank Ntilikina and Willy Hernangomez, and as Carmelo has his own "no trade clause" and apparently ONLY has eyes for Houston and does not want to play in Cleveland (note: If Melo changes his mind and will waive his NTC to go to the Cavs, it would be infinitely easier for the Cavs to trade Kyrie to the Knicks), it's possible the Rockets would have to be in this deal as well. Complicating matters is the fact that, as I see it, the Cavs have no real interest in Ntiikina or Hernangomez, so a complicated four team trade may be the ONLY way to get Kyrie to New York.

    Below is a realistic four-team trade that could get Kyrie to New York, but such a complicated trade is still relatively unlikely:

    Cavs Trade: Kyrie, Shumpert and Frye
    Cavs Receive: Eric Bledsoe, Ryan Anderson, Knicks 2018 #1 Pick and Rockets 2018 #1 Pick

    Knicks Trade: Carmelo, Ntilikina, Hernangomez and their 2018 #1 Pick
    Knicks Receive: Kyrie, Shumpert and Frye

    Rockets Trade: Ryan Anderson, Tarik Black and their 2018 #1 Pick
    Rockets Receive: Carmelo Anthony

    Suns Trade: Eric Bledsoe
    Suns Receive: Ntilinka, Hernangomez and Tarik Black

    My Thought: Kyrie and the Knicks brass end up thrilled to pair Kyrie with Porzingis, the Suns are thrilled to get two nice young studs and an expiring contract for Bledsoe, the Rockets are over the moon to get Melo for their trash and a late #1 pick ... but ... the Cavs are anything but thrilled to get Bledsoe, Anderson and two #1s for Kyrie so I don't see this happening.

    The Wolves could offer a great package, one which I believe the Cavs would accept, in the duo of Andrew Wiggins and Jeff Teague (and maybe even a lottery protected #1 pick) for Kyrie and either Channing Frye or Cedi Osman (i.e. whichever player the Cavs would rather give up). The reason this trade is highly unlikely however is because Jeff Teague cannot be traded util December 14th which means the Cavs would have to basically just bench (as they wouldn't want to risk him getting injured which would damage his trade value) Kyrie for the first 25 games of the season or so. I don't see that happpening ... at all.

    Miami: The Heat is a team most TV talking heads aren't talking about getting Kyrie ... but as usual, most talking heads on TV are bufoons who don't really understand NBA trades, cap financials, etc. I now believe that Miami is THE FAVORITE to get Kyrie as they are the one and only team on his "wish list" that have the goods to get a trade done immediatey, which would be as follows:

    Cavs Trade: Kyrie Irving, Iman Shumpert and Channng Frye
    Heat Trade: Hasaan Whiteside, Goran Dragic and Justise Winslow

    My Thought: Many people will look at the above trade and think the Heat are giving up too much and that they'd never agree to such a trade ... and such people would be wrong on the latter. I agree the Heat would be giving up too much in terms of talent, but when one cconsiders Dragic is still owed well over $50,000,000 over the next three years and Channing Frye is on an expiring contract, this trade makes a lot of financial sense for the Heat. Their first year with Kyrie would be all about Kyrie piling up the points (maybe even leading the league in scoring) and getting used to Spoelstra and Miami ... and the team basically tanking to get a high draft pick in next year's draft to add to Kyrie, Bam Adebayo, Kelly Olynyk and Dion Waiters ... if they can add a Michael Porter or Luka Doncic in the draft, that's a nice and young starting 5 for Kyrie to lead. As for the Cavs ... being able to dump Shumpert and Frye (who rarely play) with Kyrie in order to get Whiteside, Dragic and talented youngster Justice Winslow would not only make them a better team RIGHT NOW, it would also set them up well for a future without LeBron if he really does bolt in free agency. A starting 5 of Dragic/JR Smith/Winslow/Love/Whiteside coud do quite well in the weak Eastern Conference.

    In conclusion, as things stand right now, the ONLY team that can make a realistic "King's ransom" type offer to the Cavs, which is also on Kyrie's "wish list" is the Miami Heat and therefore the Miami Heat should be considere the favorite to and Kyrie ... but if Carmelo Anthony decides he wants to play in Cleveland, the Knicks may vault to the top of the list as a 3-team that sees the Cavs receive both Carmelo Anthony and Eric Bledsoe for Kyrie, Shumpert and Frye is easily do-able.

  2. #2

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    Edited version posted here:

    Thanks for the submission

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