NBA Trade News: Cavs turned down Paul George for Kyrie Irving offer

By @saihoops on
NBA Trade News, Kyrie Irving, Paul George
Nov 6, 2017; Atlanta, GA, USA; Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving (11) goes to the basket past Atlanta Hawks forward Taurean Prince (12) during the second half at Philips Arena. USA TODAY Sports / Dale Zanine

The Cleveland Cavaliers turned down a trade offer from the Indiana Pacers involving All-Stars Kyrie Irving and Paul George, according to a new report. In June, the Pacers were shopping the disgruntled George before trading him to the Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange for Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis.

At the time, the Cavs front office had no intention to trade Irving. However, Irving requested a trade out of Cleveland approximately eight days after George became a member of the Thunder. According to Frank Isola of NY Daily News, the Cavs front office would have likely pulled the trigger on a Paul George trade had they known about Irving's mounting frustration in Cleveland.

ESPN's Brian Windhorst has offered additional details in response to Isola's tweet, claiming that the Pacers asked for Irving on several occasions and the Cavs were firm in their stance. The Cavs eventually traded Irving to the Boston Celtics in exchange for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic, Brooklyn Nets' 2018 first round pick and a future second round pick. 

Cavs could have acquired Paul George if request came sooner

The Cavs were not obligated to grant Irving's request since the point guard is under contract for a minimum of two more seasons. Irving signed a five-year contract worth US$94 million (AU$118 million) with Cleveland ahead of the 2014-15 NBA season. Since then, Irving has made several All-NBA teams besides helping Cavaliers capture their maiden NBA championship in 2016. 

According to several insiders, Irving wanted to step out of LeBron James' shadow and embrace his own team. Former Cavs general manager David Griffin gave his vote of confidence to Irving ahead of the new NBA season. "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 in an interview.

Paul George and the Oklahoma City Thunder have made a rocky start (6-7) to the new season. There is some chatter that the Thunder could explore a Paul George trade ahead of the February trade deadline. Since George, a free agent in July, has the option to walk away, the Thunder front office could be tempted to get a haul of young players to secure their future. Stay tuned for the latest NBA Trade News.