Basketball

Report: Kyrie Irving asks Cavaliers to trade him

Saturday, July 22, 2017

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CLEVELAND, United States (AP) — 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 owner Dan Gilbert, said the people who spoke on condition of anonymity because the team is not commenting on the star's demands.

Irving's appeal was first 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 off season 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 familiar with the negotiations 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.

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