Earlier this week, there were rumors that Cavs owner Dan Gilbert had a deal in place where they’d send Kyrie Irving to the Suns for the 4th overall pick and Eric Bledsoe, and then flip the pick to the Pacers for Paul George. According to the local Cleveland alt-weekly reporter who passed along the story, Gilbert wanted a guarantee from LeBron James that if they made this deal that the King would remain in Cleveland beyond next offseason. This didn’t happen, and neither did the deal.
Now comes a slight variation on that swap, but with George Hill in place of Bledsoe, via former New York Daily News reporter and current Forbes/Sirius XMNBA contributor Mitch Lawrence:
There are multiple issues with this. First, per Basketball Insiders capologist Eric Pincus’s response to Lawrence, this wouldn’t work under cap rules as presently constituted, and there’d need to be a further salary dump.
Beyond that, I personally don’t believe this move makes the Cavs more equipped to beat the Warriors. Two years ago, when Cleveland beat Golden State, they needed some heroic efforts from Kyrie. While Kyrie can be feast or famine, they need his scoring outbursts to have any real shot at matching the Warriors’ firepower.
Of the Cavs’ big three, they could much greater afford to lose Kevin Love than Kyrie Irving. And would they really even consider giving up Kyrie, who has three seasons left on his deal, only to lose Paul George in free agency after next season? Also, what is in it for the Pacers in this deal?
Everything is silly this time of year, but I’d be astonished if the Cavs actually traded Kyrie.