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NBA Rumors: Cavaliers And Pacers Explored Kyrie Irving-For-Paul George Trade In 2017

(via SB Nation)

(via SB Nation)

The Cavaliers did not get the best return they could have for their young star Kyrie Irving in 2017. Back then, he had made it adamant that he wanted out, unwilling to commit any more of his time to the Cavs.

When the team finally traded him to the Celtics, they got back Isaiah Thomas and Jae Crowder, two players that the team gave away just months later.

It doomed their franchise. But one has to think they would have fared a whole lot better with a guy like Paul George instead. According to Joe Vardon of The Athletic, before his contract with the Cavaliers expired, David Griffin was orchestrating a trade deal that would send Kyrie to the Indiana Pacers in exchange for Paul George.

“In June 2017, suspecting that Irving wanted out of Cleveland, Griffin had the framework of a deal done that not only would have brought Paul George to Cleveland from Indiana, but additional pieces from at least one other team in exchange for Irving and other Cavs. But Griffin wanted to talk to Irving and his agent, Jeff Wechsler, before making the trade, and Irving’s camp wouldn’t take the meeting until Griffin had a new contract from the Cavs. When Griffin’s deal expired and he couldn’t come to an agreement with Gilbert, the deal he’d outlined for Irving died.”

Had Dan Gilbert not unnecessarily fired Griffin, they might have gotten the deal done. It was ultimately Griff's departure that forced the trade to fall apart. Yet another example of the front-office, decision-making wreck that is the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Instead of acquiring Pau George, and maybe keep both him and LeBron for years to come, the Cavs only have an injury-ravaged Kevin Love as they storm their way towards the lottery.