All-star guard Irving asks out of Cleveland
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.
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.