A source said a deal was on the table for Irving before the draft, but was not executed in part because it was not yet known that Irving wanted out. The deal was crafted before David Griffin left as general manager.
Cleveland had no idea about Irving’s desire to leave the team until he met with them nearly two weeks ago. There was the presumption by the organization that he was content in playing alongside LeBron James especially after coming off their third straight trip to the NBA Finals.
However, Irving has voiced his desire to be the focal point of a team while he didn’t like the fashion in which James controls the organization. If he had informed the Cavaliers earlier this offseason, it could have allowed for the front office to acquire one of the other All-Star players such as Chris Paul or Paul George, who were both traded last month.
This has left the Cavaliers in a precarious position of deciding whether to keep Irving despite his desire to leave or attempt to move him at some point this offseason. It’s a situation that will have many more twists and turns to come.