CLEVELAND — There has been no shortage of interest in Cleveland Cavaliers disgruntled point guard Kyrie Irving, who asked for a trade in a sit-down meeting with owner Dan Gilbert in early July.
According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, roughly 20 teams have looked into trading for Irving, with at least six -- San Antonio Spurs, Minnesota Timberwolves, Los Angeles Clippers, Phoenix Suns, New York Knicks and Miami Heat -- actually making offers.
The Spurs, Timberwolves, Knicks and Heat are the four teams on Irving's preferred-destination list. New York is a chance to go "home." The Timberwolves appear to be on the rise and recently added Irving's good friend and workout partner Jimmy Butler. The Heat and Spurs are well-respected organizations with the kind of stability Cleveland lacks.
While he doesn't have a no-trade clause and is under contract for at least two more years, that quartet would theoretically be more inclined to meet Cleveland's big asking price, given Irving's desire to play there.
During Wednesday's introductory press conference, new general manager Koby Altman called the Irving situation "fluid."
"He's a core piece of what we've done," Altman said. "Kyrie is a tremendous player. He has made great contributions to this franchise and we enjoy him as a player and we're going to keep this stuff in house in terms of what was said in those meetings, but he continues to be a core piece of who we are and what we do.
"We have had dialogue with his representation. It's a fluid situation and something that we are just not going to address right now."
When asked specifically if the team intends to trade Irving, who has been distant since that meeting three weeks ago, Altman said he didn't "want to talk about that."
But it certainly appears the Cavs are listening and are interested in a package with a little bit of everything — win-now players to help them dethrone the Golden State Warriors in LeBron James' final season under contract, young players and draft picks.
Even though they didn't make Irving's wish list, the Suns' interest is logical. Craving a star after missing out on big-name free agents (LaMarcus Aldridge and Blake Griffin) recently, boasting numerous young lottery picks drafted over the last few years and holding an extra first-round pick coming from the Miami Heat, Phoenix may even be able to meet the Cavs' demand.
According to Wojnarowski, the Suns are not currently willing to include 2017 fourth-overall pick Josh Jackson. Then again, that's the stance the Cavs took early in the Kevin Love trade negotiations in 2014, before ultimately sending first-overall selection Andrew Wiggins to Minnesota in the summer blockbuster.
At least six teams have made offers for Irving at this point, but it's still early. The Cavs are being patient, waiting for the best deal. Training camp opens on Sept. 25. and there are a plethora of other offers that could still come.
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