Kyrie Irving Trade request shows courage, reckons David Griffin

By @saihoops on
Kyrie Irving trade, Cleveland Cavaliers
Jun 12, 2017; Oakland, CA, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving (2) shoots against Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green (23) during the second half in game five of the 2017 NBA Finals at Oracle Arena. USA TODAY Sports / Ezra Shaw

David Griffin, the former general manager of the Cleveland Cavaliers, believes that Kyrie Irving's trade request shows courage on the part of the young point guard. The new Cavs front office, led by Koby Altman, is reportedly seeking a haul of an established starter, a "blue chip" young prospect and draft picks.

The Cavs are not obligated to grant Irving's request since the guard is under contract for a minimum of two more seasons. Irving signed a five-year max contract worth US$94 million (AU$118 million) with the Cavaliers ahead of the 2014-15 season.

Since then, Irving has made several All-Star games and All-NBA teams besides capturing the NBA championship in 2016. Cleveland is currently weighing several options and could likely trade Irving before the start of training camp in September. 

"He handled the situation exactly like he was supposed to. He went to (Cleveland Cavaliers owner) Dan Gilbert privately, told him that he thought he would be happier somewhere else. The absolute worst thing this guy could have done was pretend to be all-in and sink the ship from within. Most guys don't have the courage to do what he did," Griffin told ESPN's The Jump on Monday. Watch the video below.

Kyrie Irving Trade: Would guard land at preferred destination?

Irving, 25, has reportedly listed the Minnesota Timberwolves, New York Knicks, Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs in his wish list of preferred destinations. Griffin believes Irving would "likely" end up getting traded but he did not speculate on whether the guard would land at one of the aforementioned teams. 

"This is a guy whose list included really good coaching situations -- Brad Stevens and (Gregg) Popovich. This is a guy who recruited LeBron (James), (Gordon) Hayward and a host of other free agents, and all of a sudden LeBron came back, so he was sold a totally different situation than he's actually in, and he worked very well in, he won a championship in," Griffin opined.

According to several NBA insiders, Irving wants to step out of LeBron James' shadow and embrace his own squad. Griffin acknowledged that Irving has yet to succeed without James by his corner. "I don't think he's figured out how to carry the mantle of a team and win games in that environment. None of the players on that team had learned how to do it before LeBron got there. That didn't grow organically. They didn't learn how to win together."

Kyrie Irving, drafted No. 1 overall by Cleveland in 2011, averaged 25.2 points, and 5.8 assists and 3.2 rebounds in his sixth season with the Cavs. Stay tuned for the latest rumblings on a potential Kyrie Irving Trade.