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What Kyrie Irving’s reported trade request means for Cavs, Warriors

Another NBA superstar who has only played professionally for the Cavaliers reportedly requested a trade, and this time it wasn’t LeBron James.
Kyrie Irving asked Cleveland owner Dan Gilbert to ship him elsewhere, according to Adrian Wojnarowksi of ESPN, and his exit would change the Cavaliers-Warriors storyline significantly.
That is, if Gilbert is inclined to deal Irving and he can find a suitable trade partner. (Word from Woj is , one potential partner is the Spurs).
Anything about such a swap is purely speculation at this point. But here’s some thoughts on what it might mean for Cleveland — as well as Golden State…
Less Curry vs. Kyrie in NBA Finals, probably
The last three Finals have featured plenty of fantastic matchups and among the best is Stephen Curry against Kyrie Irving. The point guards can spar with dagger 3-pointers or dazzle with silky moves, both are able/willing to find an open teammate and each has a certain swagger.
Irving’s exit would most likely lead to less of that.
Even if Kyrie lands on a contender, there’s no telling if it will be a Western or Eastern conference opponent. His skills clearly boost any team’s championship chances, of course, but that depends on his new teammate’s abilities and health.
More moves are imminent for Cleveland
Obviously the Cavaliers should receive a treasure trove for Irving — especially considering he has three more years on his contract at a rate of about $20 million a season.
The four-time All-Star’s abilities continue to rise, along with his popularity, and many figure him to fortify a contender if he is traded. Adding him instantly improves any team, particularly the Spurs, and it’s easy to figure Gilbert should hold out for a bunch of prospects or a few quality veterans (whomever they may be).
What can Cleveland do with a varied formation next season? Can LeBron James — who is reportedly unhappy with Cleveland’s off-season so far — and the Cavaliers overcome the Warriors with a different lineup? These are just some of the questions that come to mind.
Warriors may not be paying too much mind
Draymond Green did not dice words in his response to Damian Lillard’s bravado Thursday. So it’s easy to guess Golden State will rebuff any worry about this trade rumor, just like the last or the next.
Still, something like Irving-to-the-Spurs-for-prospects might make some hairs rise on the back of Warriors’ necks.
Not to say that Curry, Durant and Co. can’t overcome obstacles such as that. But Irving joining forces with Kawhi Leonard, Pau Gasol, Manu Ginobli, Tony Parker and the others is a formidable foe.
Conclusion:  While still up in the air, a potential trade of Irving would shake up Cleveland and the NBA landscape. This is what one NBA blogger (the notorious Rob Perez) thought of the trade request rumor…
— Agent of NBA Chaos (@World_Wide_Wob) July 21, 2017

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