On Friday morning, statements were released stating that Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving asked for a trade in a meeting last week. He listed four teams as his preferred destination: San Antonio Spurs, Miami Heat, New York Knicks and the Minnesota Timberwolves.
The Phoenix Suns
Cleveland receives: Eric Bledsoe and TJ Warren
Phoenix receives: Kyrie Irving and Iman Shumpert
Why it Works
Whenever the Cleveland Cavaliers wanted to trade for a superstar it seemed that the third trading partner was the Phoenix Suns. Now with Kyrie Irving wanting to leave, the Suns and Cavs could work out a trade that lands Kyrie in Phoenix.
How Cleveland Benefits
Cleveland gets one of the more underrated point guards in the league with Eric Bledsoe. Bledsoe is not as good of a scorer than Kyrie, but is better on the defensive end which will help them against teams with better point guards.
Cleveland gets a great small forward in TJ Warren. His shooting is not the best, but his ability to drive to the basket and pull up from inside the arc will help Cleveland’s bench unit score. Overall, Warren is a more complete player than Richard Jefferson on the offensive and defensive end.
How Phoenix Benefits
Phoenix benefits from getting a star point guard that can score. His leadership will help mentor young players in Dragon Bender and Devin Booker. Even though Bledsoe’s defensive presence will be missed, Kyrie’s ability to score, experience and leadership will help the Suns drastically
Iman Shumpert has not found his scoring touch in Cleveland due to a limited amount of touches. In Phoenix, he can reinvent himself into the player he was in New York. Kyrie and Devin Booker are known to have many defensive lapses, so Iman Shumpert will help on the defensive side of the ball for Phoenix.
How Kyrie Irving Benefits
The main reason Kyrie Irving wants to leave Cleveland in the first place was that he was tired of being second in line. Now joining a rebuilding franchise with the Suns, Kyrie finally will be the star of a franchise. Kyrie and Devin Booker will punch a nasty 1-2 punch that will cause trouble to all defenses across the league.
Projected Starting Lineup: Cleveland Cavaliers Phoenix Suns
Point Guard: Eric Bledsoe Point Guard: Kyrie Irving
Shooting Guard: JR Smith Shooting Guard: Devin Booker
Small Forward: Lebron James Small Forward: Iman Shumpert
Power Forward: Kevin Love Power Forward: Marquese Chriss
Center: Tristan Thompson Center: Alex Len