The Cleveland Cavaliers, according to a recent ESPN article by Brian Windhorst, are facing demands from their star point guard. Windhorst wrote in a Friday article that "Kyrie Irving is ready to end his run with the Cleveland Cavaliers, as league sources told ESPN that the point guard has asked the team to trade him." With this new situation with Irving, we're not talking about rumors and it's not conjecture or some blogger trying to trump up something to chat about. Irving wants out of Cleveland and the Cavaliers are probably going to have to comply.

No point keeping Irving around

When a player says he wants out, in a lot of cases there isn't a lot that a team can do. There's nothing more slow-footed than an employee, and that's what a basketball player is in the NBA, that doesn't want to work for the company that he is tied to. Irving still has three years left on a five-year contract that, according to Spotrac, carries a cap hit between $18.8M and $21.3M per year for each of the next three years.

In this era of skyrocketing basketball salaries, there are going to be teams that will be more than willing to take that cap hit, especially since Irving is still just in his mid-20s.

Where would Irving go? This is where the conjecture creeps in. If the Cavaliers are smart then they should probably trade Irving out of the Atlantic Division at least, if not out of the Eastern Conference. Trading away from where your team is based is certainly not a rule that can't be broken for the right deal, but a GM that trades a player to a rival is at risk of getting burned by that player.

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NBA Cleveland Cavaliers

A GM that gets burned by a player that he trades just doesn't look too bright. A GM that doesn't look too bright can get run out of town. It means Irving probably won't go to an in-division rival.

Do Spurs make sense?

If Irving gets traded, which he probably will, then the Western Conference (or at least not in the Atlantic) is somewhere the Cavs would probably want to send him. Windhorst mentions the San Antonio Spurs and that's as good a place for him as several other potential destinations.

But if Irving wants a "bigger role" then San Antonio is a questionable landing spot for him due to Kawhi Leonard's presence there. Leonard is the post-Duncan franchise player in San Antonio and that means that Irving would be coming into a situation where his team already has a franchise face. What might be right for Irving, if it's about a "bigger role," is a situation similar to what Russell Westbrook and James Harden had last season with their teams: a non-stop green light on offense due to teammates that aren't prolific scorers.

Maybe Irving will want a move to get into the MVP picture? He could do that by playing for a middle contender that doesn't have much in terms of secondary offensive threats.

For Cleveland, you have to think that they might have one more season of competitive basketball ahead before a rebuild. Lebron James, according to Spotrac, has one season left in his contract (cap hit $35.6M). What has really helped the Cavaliers in recent years is his desire to bring a championship to his home city.

Lebron has done that and he can leave Cleveland without the chorus of boos he had when he left the first time several years back. If the Cavs trade Irving for talent then they should be strong in 2017/18, but the whole picture suggests that, while it could be a competitive year in 2017/18 for the Cavs, a rebuild is in the future.

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