Cavs news: Cleveland was close to landing Paul George, Eric Bledsoe in 3-team Kyrie Irving trade
Rumors had run rampant of the Cleveland Cavaliers exploring trade options to move Kyrie Irving in order to land big-time free agents, even before the 25-year-old requested a trade. According to Jason Lloyd of The Athletic, the Cavs were in line to thread a three-team trade with the Indiana Pacers and the Phoenix Suns, signifying Irving’s exit from The Land.
This three-team deal would have landed star swingman Paul George and point guard Eric Bledsoe to Cleveland, while Irving and sharp-shot Channing Frye would make their way to Phoenix, with the Pacers receiving the Suns’ No. 4 overall selection and Jared Dudley, as well as the Cavs’ Iman Shumpert.
Bill Simmons even hinted during his podcast (listen at the 8:12 mark) that Cleveland was trying to trade Irving even before he approached the front office asking for a trade.
The Cavs were coming off a devastating loss to the Golden State Warriors in a five-game series and it was clear as water they needed to switch things up if they hoped to get another chance at the crown. LeBron James had played undoubtedly the best series of his NBA career and it was all for naught, making the front office aware that changes needed to be made.
While former general manager David Griffin and his then-assistant Trent Redden pulled the strings on getting this deal done, owner Dan Gilbert ultimately gave both the boot, resulting in the deal consequently disintegrating.
GM Koby Altman ultimately was able to shake the right trees and find a trade suitor for Irving, this time under more difficult circumstances — but a deal for two stars in Bledsoe and George would have made a major upgrade for the team, giving them two 20-point scorers for the price of one and two bench players with stocky contracts — a deal they would have loved to have back.