Tha Sports Junkies 101

3 Reasons Why Trading Kyrie Irving To Phoenix Makes Sense

Kyrie to PHX Bill Bryan via Flickr


Kyrie Irving to the Desert?

On July 21st, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst reported that Kyrie Irving had requested a trade out of Cleveland. Irving then told the Cavaliers’ front office his preferred trade destinations. This list included the New York Knicks, Miami Heat, Minnesota Timberwolves and the San Antonio Spurs. But luckily for the Cavs, this list means absolutely nothing.

Since Irving does not have a no-trade clause, Cleveland can trade the star guard anywhere they want. So which team would be the best fit for Kyrie, that would also give the Cavaliers a suitable return? Look no further than the Phoenix Suns.

Possible Trade Scenario

Now let’s dive into a possible trade that would make the most sense for both teams.

Cleveland Receives: G Eric Bledsoe, F T.J. Warren, F Dragan Bender, and 2018 1st Round Pick (Unprotected)

Phoenix Receives: G Kyrie Irving, G/F Iman Shumpert, and C Channing Frye

Now you’re probably wondering, ‘Why does this trade make the most sense?’. Well, let me explain.

Bledsoe and Irving Swap Intrigues Both Teams

First off, the Suns have been shopping Bledsoe for the last year or so. It’s clear that Phoenix General Manager Ryan McDonough doesn’t see Bledsoe as their point guard of the future. Acquiring Irving will finally give Phoenix a permanent leader at the point, that they have been desperately looking for since Steve Nash.

But the former Kentucky Wildcat point guard won’t be a huge step down from Kyrie. Bledsoe averaged career-highs in points (21.1), rebounds (4.8), and assists (6.3) per game last year for the Suns. Not to mention that he’s a better defender than Irving. Oh, and he is a good friend of LeBron James, which is also a plus for the Cavs.

Irving Gets What He Wants

One of the main reasons that Irving has requested a trade out of Ohio is due to him wanting to be “the guy” or the leader of the team, and that’s exactly what he’d be in the desert. The former Duke star will have a great number 2 option in Devin Booker, and a nice young core alongside him for the foreseeable future. Booker, Marquese Chriss, and Josh Jackson are all under 21, and with Irving being only 25, their future can be as bright as the sun in Phoenix.

Cavaliers Save Money From Luxury Tax And Receive Assets

Now let’s discuss the economic side in regards to the rest of the pieces involved in this projected blockbuster trade. Cleveland currently holds the highest payroll in the NBA at $133,248,620. This puts the Cavs well over the luxury tax, which would make owner Dan Gilbert owe over $42.7 million. So if Cleveland was able to dump Channing Frye’s expiring contract of almost $7.5 million, and Iman Shumpert’s $10+ million, this would save Gilbert almost $20 million in luxury taxes which is a plus for Cleveland. This won’t affect Phoenix economically as Frye is in the last year of his deal, and Shumpert has one year remaining after the 2017-2018 season.

Cleveland will also receive a future 1st round pick and two young players with favorable contracts in Dragan Bender and T.J. Warren. And with the West being as stacked as it is, the Suns 1st round pick will likely be in the lottery for the 2018 draft.

Let’s Wrap It Up

All-in-all, I think this is a pretty fair trade for all parties involved. The Suns get their superstar in Kyrie. LeBron gets to play with his close friend Eric Bledsoe and Dan Gilbert gets to save a ton of cash. So Cleveland, Phoenix, let’s seal the deal like Irving did in the 2016 NBA Finals!


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