All-star guard Irving asks out of Cleve­land

The Denver Post - - OFF & RUNNING - By The Associated Press

Kyrie Irving wants the stage for him­self.

Cleve­land’s all-star point guard has asked the Cava­liers to trade him, two peo­ple fa­mil­iar with the sit­u­a­tion told The Associated Press on Fri­day. Irving made the re­quest last week to team owner Dan Gil­bert, said the peo­ple who spoke on con­di­tion of anonymity be­cause the Cava­liers aren’t com­ment­ing on the Duke prod­uct’s de­mands.

Irving’s re­quest was first re­ported by ESPN.

A four-time all-star, Irving has spent six sea­sons with the Cava­liers, who se­lected him with the No. 1 over­all pick in the 2011 draft. The 25-year-old has over­come in­juries and be­come one of the NBA’s elite point guards and big­gest stars.

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

He is un­der con­tract for two more sea­sons with Cleve­land (he has a player op­tion in 2020), but the Cava­liers 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 the Golden State War­riors in the NBA Fi­nals. Gen­eral man­ager David Grif­fin parted ways with the Cava­liers 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 Cava­liers courted for­mer NBA star Chauncey Billups but couldn’t get him to join their front of­fice.

The Cava­liers now are fi­nal­iz­ing a deal to pro­mote Koby Alt­man to gen­eral man­ager, league sources told ESPN.

A for­mal an­nounce­ment of Alt­man’s pro­mo­tion from as­sis­tant gen­eral man­ager to GM is ex­pected soon.

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

Foot­notes.

The Wizards and All-Star point guard John Wall agreed to a four-year, $170 mil­lion ex­ten­sion, a league source told ESPN’s Adrian Wo­j­narowski. … Pau Ga­sol agreed to terms on a three-year con­tract with the Spurs. The 7-foot Spa­niard and the Spurs came to agree­ment on a deal that is par­tially guar­an­teed for the third sea­son. Ga­sol de­clined a $16 mil­lion op­tion.

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