Report: Kyrie Irving was ‘convinced' LeBron James' camp tried to get him traded


We never quite learned exactly what fueled Kyrie Irving’s desire to leave Cleveland, but it was an easy enough guess that it had something to do with LeBron James. 

While it would make sense that Irving would want to depart the Cavaliers before James could flee in free agency, a very telling piece from Jackie MacMullan on goes far more in-depth. 

According to Macmullan, Irving learned that the Cavaliers tried trading him in a three-way deal prior to then-general manager David Griffin’s departure and became “convinced” James was behind it. 

From MacMullan: 

In mid-June, shortly before Griffin left, team and league sources confirm, the Cavs explored a three-way deal with Phoenix and Indiana that would have shipped Irving and [Channing] Frye to the Suns and brought Eric Bledsoe and Paul George to Cleveland. The Suns resisted, unwilling to part with their No. 4 pick, which they planned to use to draft Josh Jackson.

No formal offer was made by any of the teams, but news of this potential transaction stung Irving, who, sources close to him say, became convinced that LeBron's camp, which also represents Bledsoe, orchestrated the trade talks.

Team and league sources refute that, saying that it was Griffin who initiated the trade talks with Phoenix. Griffin, who is close with Irving, sensed both his unhappiness and his restlessness and was preparing for the possibility that Irving would request a trade. But once Griffin was no longer employed by the team, the conversations stalled. Cleveland then engaged in talks with Indiana and Denver, according to league sources.

Perhaps it was, as Irving suggests, inevitable that he start searching for the next zenith. As [former Cavs coach Byron] Scott says today, 'Kyrie is one of those players who gets bored after a couple of years. He's wired differently than most. He needs to be stimulated. He needs another adventure.'

Irving ended up requesting a trade and was sent to the Celtics in August. Wednesday night marks his second game against the team that drafted him first overall in 2011. 

Contact Us