With the Cleveland Cavaliers future uncertain as LeBron James is set to hit free agency next summer, point guard Kyrie Irving recently requested the organization trade him.
If Irving is traded, he would be the third All-Star changing uniforms this offseason via trade, as Jimmy Butler was traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves and Paul George was shipped to the Oklahoma City Thunder.
One team that has expressed interest in acquiring Irving and could have the assets to make a deal is the Phoenix Suns. While the Suns have said that they refuse to trade either Devin Booker or recently drafted Josh Jackson, they could still put together a package surrounding point guard Eric Bledsoe, who has a good relationship with James due to being represented by Klutch Sports.
According to Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN, the Suns are currently willing to offer Bledsoe, power forward Dragan Bender and a first round pick for Irving:
The Phoenix Suns are the team to watch on Kyrie Irving. Now, they won’t offer Josh Jackson plus that Miami 2018 first and Eric Bledsoe. I’m told they’ll do Bledsoe. They’ll do the pick. Plus, Dragan Bender.
Bender was the fourth overall pick in last year’s draft out of Croatia, but was relatively unproductive in 43 games last season, averaging 3.4 points and 2.4 rebounds while shooting 35.4 percent from the field.
While the offer may be appealing, as adding Bledsoe to their current team would keep them in championship contention right now, and Bender and the first round pick would help a possible rebuild if James leaves in free agency, the Cavaliers front office will likely want more if they are trading their four-time All-Star.
The Suns willingness to include either Jackson or Marquese Chriss, the eighth overall pick from last season that had a solid rookie campaign, could get the deal done.
Other teams that could slide into the Irving sweepstakes are the New York Knicks, Minnesota Timberwolves and San Antonio Spurs.