Kyrie keen to kiss the Cava­liers good­bye

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - SPORTS -

CLEVE­LAND — Kyrie Irv­ing wants the stage for him­self.

Cleve­land’s All-Star point guard has asked the Cava­liers to trade him, two sources told As­so­ci­ated Press on Fri­day.

Irv­ing made the re­quest last week to owner Dan Gil­bert, ac­cord­ing to the sources, who spoke on con­di­tion of anonymity be­cause the team is not com­ment­ing on the star’s de­mands.

Irv­ing’s ap­peal was re­ported by ESPN.

A four-time All-Star, Irv­ing has spent six sea­sons with the Cavs, who se­lected him with the No 1 over­all pick in 2011. The 25-year-old has over­come in­jury is­sues and blos­somed into one of the league’s elite point guards and big­gest stars.

And now that he’s fi­nally es­tab­lished him­self play­ing along­side LeBron James, Irv­ing wants out.

He’s un­der con­tract for two more sea­sons with Cleve­land (he has a player op­tion in 2020), but the Cavs could be in­clined to move Irv­ing now and be­gin another re­build around James, who can opt out of his con­tract next sum­mer and leave Ohio for the se­cond time.

The bomb­shell about Irv­ing adds to what has been a tu­mul­tuous off­sea­son for the Cavs fol­low­ing their loss in five games to Golden State in the NBA Fi­nals.

Gen­eral man­ager David Grif­fin parted ways with the club af­ter fail­ing to work out a new con­tract with Gil­bert and while other teams have been ac­tive in sign­ing free agents the Cavs have been lim­ited in their abil­ity to re­vamp their ros­ter be­cause of salary-cap is­sues.

Also, the Cavs courted for­mer NBA star Chauncey Billups but couldn’t get him to join their front of­fice.

Irv­ing’s re­quest to be dealt per­haps sheds some light on the Cavs’ re­cent pur­suit of for­mer league MVP Der­rick Rose. The team has talked to Rose about a one-year con­tract in re­cent days, a source told AP on Thurs­day.

Rose was thought to be a po­ten­tial backup, but now it ap­pears he could be needed to start if the Cavs and Irv­ing are in­deed break­ing up.

There is cer­tain to be ma­jor in­ter­est in Irv­ing, who av­er­aged a ca­reer-high 25.2 points and 5.8 as­sists in 72 games last sea­son.

Irv­ing av­er­aged 25.9 points in his third straight Fi­nals, but he and James couldn’t do enough to match the War­riors, who took back their crown af­ter adding Kevin Du­rant last sum­mer. first

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