The Cavs floor general has reportedly grown sick of his role within the team and wishes to be part of a team where he can be the focal point, no longer wishing to play alongside talisman LeBron James.
“Kyrie and I had a meeting with Cavs leadership where we discussed many different scenarios in reference to Kyrie and his future with the team,” Wechsler told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. “The basis of those discussions and what went on in those discussions are between the Cavs and us. We are respectfully going to keep those private.”
This request comes at the heels of the comments Irving made to Sports Illustrated after their Fashionable 50 event, saying the team was “in a peculiar place.”
“I understand we’re in a very peculiar place,” Irving told the magazine. “We just have to, you know, make sure that all our pieces are aligned first, and then we go from there. It’s the summertime, a lot of craziness going on in the NBA.”
Irving was the No. 1 pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, which quickly saw him excel as the face of the franchise until James’ homecoming and consequent takeover of the mantle, making the NBA Finals alongside Irving for three straight seasons.
With a crumbling front office and no significant free agent acquisitions or player movement to show for, the Cavs find themselves in dire straits with one star player in James that has been heavily rumored to leave after this upcoming season and another who wants to make his exit rather immediate.
Irving still has three years and $60 million left on his contract, but has the option to get out of the final year of his deal before the start of the 2019-20 season.
If the Duke standout is traded, he would squander the chance of becoming a supermax free agent in 2019, leaving big money on the table.
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Irving seemed to have a close-knit relationship with James all along, showing no signs of rupture in their friendship or chemistry on the court during the entire season — making this all the more shocking for Cavs faithful.
“When you get to that level of trust and you allow someone to come into a friendship that extends well off the court,” Irving said after securing the Eastern Conference crown against the Boston Celtics in five games, “and you understand how great this era can be if we are selfless to the point where we don’t think about anything else except for the greatness of our team and what we can accomplish.”
A vast majority of his unhappiness with the organization seems to be rooted with the treatment of former general manager David Griffin, who was shown the door after failing to see eye-to-eye contractually with owner Dan Gilbert, ultimately leaving the front office, which has remained vacant ever since.
Griffin was responsible for signing Irving to a five-year contract extension in 2014 despite the Cavs coming off four straight losing seasons.