Well damn, I did not see this coming.
According to Brian Windhorst from ESPN, Kyrie Irving has a requested a trade from the Cleveland Cavaliers, leaving LeBron ‘blindsided’ and ‘disappointed’. This will come as a huge shock for the Basketball world as James and Irving have become one of the most feared duos in the league having made the past three NBA Finals.
Who knows where Irving will end up, but best of luck to him. It can’t be easy being a player as good as Irving who will always been in LeBron’s shadow. Irving may want to prove that he is a franchise player and that now is the best time for that.
With Kyrie going and Love still in trade rumors, it looks like the Cavs will be breaking up for the start of next season as there’s no way that LeBron would stay in Cleveland if he doesn’t have a good shot for the title.
According to ESPN, Adrian Wojnarowski:
"As the Cleveland Cavaliers deliberate on deals to move All-Star guard Kyrie Irving, the franchise is operating under a self-prescribed mandate: presume a future without LeBron James.
The Cavs aren't giving up on the possibility of re-signing James next summer, but they are no longer investing blind faith in the hope he will stay. For James, a reluctance to commit comes with an emerging set of complications. Beyond Irving's decision to ask for a trade, Cleveland has determined that it's unwilling to simply be reactive to James' possible departure."
Yet again it looks like the King is on the move, here are my top five destinations for him to go.
5. Los Angeles Lakers
This is a huge long shot as LA is nowhere near ready to compete for a title yet. They only won 26 games last year and with their current squad, it will be sometime before they can begin to contend.
However, they do have Lonzo Ball, the MVP of this year’s summer league who looked extremely impressive after his subpar first game. Lonzo and LeBron are very similar in that they are both extremely good passers and always look to get their teammates involved first. These two on the same team would be amazing to watch on the fast break.
There’s also the financial side of things to consider. LA is one of the biggest markets in the basketball world and if LeBron moved out to the city of angels then he would be able to make some serious cash, not that he doesn’t already.
4. Portland Trail Blazers
Assuming he can orchestrate things so that Portland can keep Lillard and McCollum, combining these two with the King would certainly shake things up in the West. Besides Curry and Thompson, there is probably no better backcourt in the NBA right now.
These two guys are just coming into their prime and have proven to have the heart and determination that can win you big games down the stretch. They are both excellent shooters who would hugely benefit having a guy like LeBron feeding them on his drives and LeBron would hugely benefit from the floor space that they would provide.
3. Philadelphia 76ers
Trust the Process.
Picture this; LeBron, Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons. That would be a trio worth watching. Embiid, when he's healthy, can probably become the best center in the NBA. Ben Simmons is basically a poor man’s LeBron with his huge size and passing ability.
The 76ers are looking to get back in the Playoffs this season in a weaker Eastern Conference, adding LeBron would ensure that they instantly would vault to the top seed. It would also give Philadelphia’s players the chance to learn from one of the greatest minds in basketball, something that would pay dividends for many years to come.
2. New Orleans Pelicans
The Pels will be wanting to give the combination of DeMarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis a try. They are the best big men in the NBA and if things go to plan then New Orleans will be a real monster next year with their size down low.
However, this experiment is very risky and it could go horribly wrong. Adding LeBron James to your team is the least riskiest thing you can do in basketball. They could straight up trade DeMarcus for LeBron so that AD and LBJ could combine forces.
The Pelicans need a good point guard to get the ball to Davis and his other teammates, LeBron is the best passer in basketball. Go figure.
1. Houston Rockets
Yes, I know that the Rockets have just acquired CP3 and that they look set to heavily contend against the Spurs and Warriors next year, but you can’t tell me you wouldn’t trade CP3 plus extras for LeBron in a heartbeat.
The Rockets lead the NBA in made three pointers last year with 14.4 made a game. As well all know LeBron is the best player to have when you have an abundance of floor space and the Rockets have just about the most floor space in the league.
Mike D’Antoni is a phenomenal offensive coach who transformed James Harden into last year’s assists per game leader. Imagine what he could do with the best player in the NBA. The Rockets have several key role players like Ryan Anderson (or Carmelo Anthony), Eric Gordon, Trevor Ariza and Clint Capela, all of whom suit LeBron’s playing style perfectly. If the King wants another ring then this is his best option.