Spenser Heaps, Deseret News
Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving (2) shoots during the game against the Utah Jazz at Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017.
Since LeBron James returned to the Cleveland Cavaliers three years ago, the team has made the NBA Finals every season, winning their first championship in 2016. But for All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving, the team’s collective success hasn’t been enough.
According to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, Irving has asked Cleveland’s management for a trade because he’s seeking a bigger role — something he won’t get alongside James. Irving told the team’s management that he’d prefer to play for the San Antonio Spurs, Miami Heat, Minnesota Timberwolves or New York Knicks, but since he doesn’t have a no-trade clause attached to his current contract, Irving has virtually no say in where he’ll end up.
Enter the Utah Jazz.
Before the NBA draft in June, Deseret News’ Jody Genessy reported that Utah had exploratory talks with Cleveland about a trade that would send Irving to Salt Lake City. At the time, it appeared as if Irving would remain a part of Cleveland’s core, so any trade discussions around him likely wouldn’t have gained ground, but things are different now.
Irving, 25, has made the Eastern Conference All-Star team four times since being picked first overall in 2011. Cleveland won’t get a player of his caliber in return, but the Cavs are looking to acquire a blue-chip talent who could potentially reach his level, according to ESPN’s Zach Lowe. If the Jazz still have interest in getting Irving, they might have what it takes to complete the trade.
What the Jazz could give up
To get someone like Irving, the Jazz will have to part ways with promising players, including guard Donovan Mitchell. However, since Mitchell is technically a new signing, the Jazz wouldn’t be able to complete a trade with the Cavaliers until Friday.
Mitchell was a summer league standout and helped soothe the pain of losing Gordon Hayward. At times, Mitchell, who the Jazz traded up…