The Kyrie Irving trade mills continues to churn and the Phoenix Suns continue to be linked as a potential trade partner, either landing Irving or helping facilitate a trade as a 3rd team.
The linking of the Suns makes sense, I wrote about it when news of Irving’s availability broke, but it doesn’t meant that Phoenix should abandon their super-youth movement to acquire an NBA elite player.
Analysts, experts and social media have been discussing the scenario ever since and it seems centered around Suns’ guard Eric Bledsoe as a main trade piece.
I have no problem with Bledsoe being shipped off to Cleveland in this deal, but much more than that and the Suns risk coming out on the very short end of the stick.
It’s likely that any deal for Irving would include the likes of Bledsoe and veteran Tyson Chandler but the Cavaliers are interested in more than that.
We have all heard the chatter about Cleveland’s interest in rookie Josh Jackson, the 4th overall pick in the draft, and the response coming out of Phoenix is that Jackson won’t be a part of any deal, at all.
I like the sentiment but Phoenix must also be weary of over-paying for what is essentially 2-years of Kyrie Irving.
Keeping the core of Devin Booker, Marquese Chriss, Dragan Bender and now Josh Jackson should be your priority, one that wouldn’t change unless a LeBron James or Kevin Durant type player is walking through the door, which he isn’t.
But dealing the likes of Bledsoe, who is working out with LeBron James and newly-signed Cavs guard Derrick Rose in Las Vegas, is the Suns best and should be their only shot at landing Irving.
Much above and beyond that becomes borderline irrational, despite Irving’s elite status.
Throwing in the likes of Tyson Chandler helps sweeten the deal and the Suns may also need to throw in a draft pick or two to get the deal done, but adding the likes of a Josh Jackson, a Chriss and even a Bender puts the Suns on the losing side of the equation.
I ask myself if my position would change if Irving had Phoenix on his list of preferred teams and/or he would re-sign with the Suns long-term if he did indeed land with the team?
Despite this question, I keep reminding myself that Irving’s style of play takes the ball out of Booker’s hands more often than not, that Irving is a “score-first” point guard and despite how clutch he is and regardless of his elite status I can’t convince myself that the addition of Irving makes the Suns a bonafide powerhouse in the West.
And that should give the Suns pause when at the negotiating table. It should also cut off trade talks at Bledsoe, Chandler and draft picks.
If the Suns aren’t reaching the NBA Finals or competing for the Western Conference crowns with the likes of the Golden State Warriors, than they need to stay the course and avoid any moves that dramatically shift them off course.
To their credit, the Suns have reportedly refused to include Jackson in any deal and have told him as much, but the NBA is a business and talent such as Irving, who would likely avoid a visit to Phoenix in favor of a larger market or better team in free agency, doesn’t come along every day.
The Suns need to tread carefully and it seems that the stars are aligning for Bledsoe to play alongside James in Cleveland, or elsewhere eventually.
But Phoenix doesn’t need to pay a king’s ransom to help them do just that.
Cavaliers’ Announcer Fred McLeod Dies at 67
Cleveland Cavaliers announcer Fred McLeod passed away on Monday night at the age of 67, according to a team announcement.
Per the announcement, McLeod passed away suddenly on Monday night, but no further details were given.
McLeod, who is Cleveland native, has been the team’s TV play-by-play announcer since 2006, and the Cavs called him a “great friend and teammate” and a “heart-felt ambassador.”
Prior to joining the Cavaliers organization, McLeod was the Detroit Pistons announcer for 22 seasons, also calling games for the Detroit Tigers and the Detroit Lions.
“It is with true sadness that we mourn the passing of Fred McLeod, who we were fortunate to have return as the television voice of Lions preseason football earlier this year,” the Lions said via and official statement. “Fred brought an energy to our broadcasts this summer and demonstrated the same passion for our team that he had for Detroit throughout his broadcasting career.
“The entire Detroit Lions organization extends its heartfelt sympathies and condolences to his wife, Beth, his family and members of the TV broadcast community he helped mentor for more than four decades.”
Cavs Hiring Lindsay Gottlieb As Assistant Coach
The Cleveland Cavaliers are hiring University of California-Berkeley women’s coach Lindsay Gottlieb to join head coach John Beilein’s staff as an assistant coach, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Gottlieb, 41, is a decorated head coach, a Final Four and seven-time NCAA tournament head coach during her time with the Golden Bears, posting a 179-78 (.668) record while coaching several eventual WNBA players.
During her time at the helm of the Golden Bears, Gottlieb has led teams that advanced to seven NCAA tournaments in her eight seasons at Cal, including a trip to the 2013 Final Four.
Gottlieb’s hiring is historically significant, as she becomes the first women’s collegiate head coach recruited to an NBA staff in league history.
Gottlieb is expected to ink a 4-year pact with the Cavaliers, and will play a prominent role alongside Beilein and assistant head coach JB Bickerstaff.
Cavs’ Dan Gilbert Hospitalized After Experiencing Stroke Symptoms
Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Giblert was hospitalized on Sunday after he suffered symptoms associated with a stroke, according to the Detroit News’ Nolan Finley and Kim Kozlowski.
Gilbert, 57, was admitted to Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak in suburban Detroit.
Gilbert also a founder of Quick Loans, which released the following statement: “Early this morning, Dan Gilbert sought care at a local hospital after experiencing stroke-like symptoms,” Quicken Loans said in the statement. “He received immediate medical attention and is currently recovering comfortably. Our collective thoughts and prayers are with Dan for a speedy recovery. The Gilbert family respectfully requests privacy at this time.”
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