Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving dropped a bombshell on the NBA last week, as it was reported that he requested a trade from the Cavaliers, citing LeBron James as one of the reasons he wants to leave the team that drafted him.
A lot of people compared the situation to when Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal didn’t get along while they were with the Los Angeles Lakers, ultimately leading to O’Neal being traded to the Miami Heat.
Bryant and Irving have a strong relationship, and many people assumed that Bryant influenced Irving to demand a trade, but it appears that is not the case.
Bryant took to Twitter Monday morning in a hilarious way to deny those assumptions, saying that he is focused on his current business ventures:
— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) July 24, 2017
Irving listed four teams that he would like the be traded to: Miami Heat, Minnesota Timberwolves, New York Knicks and San Antonio Spurs, with the Spurs being his No. 1 destination. Irving does not have a no-trade clause though, so Cleveland has the ability to deal him anywhere without his approval.
Another possible reason that Irving wants out of Cleveland is the possibility of James leaving in free agency next offseason, which could potentially put the Cavaliers back into the lottery conversation, something Irving is not interested in at this point in his career. If James does leave Cleveland, the Lakers could be a prime destination for him.
With the futures of both Irving and James currently unknown, it should make for an exciting rest of the offseason.