Derrick Rose leaning to Cavs over Lakers

LeBron James

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The latest example is a report that surfaced over the weekend in which ESPN's Stephen A. Smith cited unnamed sources who said Irving believes that an irked James leaked the news that Irving wants to be traded. But as Shelburne, McMenamin and Windhorst pointed out, the Cavaliers actually knew that Irving was unhappy playing a secondary role on the team, and former general manager David Griffin had "several conversations" with the point guard throughout the year in attempts to improve the situation.

Clearly, Rose is nowhere near a replacement for Irving, but the signing would give the Cavaliers a starting caliber point guard should they trade Irving and fail to get a suitable signal caller back in return. The Cavs reportedly did not have end-of-season exit meetings where, as ESPN notes, the team might have been aware of Irving's growing desire to leave. The mere fact that he has that question, says it's time to move on. It couldn't seal the deal on a trade for Paul George or Jimmy Butler.

The Cleveland Cavaliers have already endured a rocky offseason, but if there is some good news, it is that they at least do not have to worry about losing LeBron James, or at least not yet. Irving had the 8th-highest PER. Irving is due $60 million over the next three seasons. "He wanted to be the centerpiece of a team".

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Irving had reportedly been "thinking about this day for some time", and had reached out to people around him to get advice on how to go about the process.

The story became a full-blown soap opera as Cavs players learned the news.

The Cavaliers are now in an interesting position, as they have a young star entering his prime years that wants out.

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