NBA fans, especially those from Phoenix and Cleveland are probably fed up with all the Kyrie Irving trade rumors. And while the Phoenix Suns have emerged as the early favorite to land the disgruntled All-Star, the Miami Heat, seemingly out of nowhere, now appears to be in the lead to acquire Irving.

Miami is now considered the favorite to land Kyrie Irving

According to Clutchpoints, citing ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne, the Miami Heat has emerged as the most likely destination for Kyrie Irving. Kyrie Irving short-listed the Miami Heat, along with the San Antonio Spurs, New York Knicks, and the Minnesota Timberwolves, as the teams he wants to get traded to.

And with this news, somewhere in Arizona, fans of the Phoenix Suns are probably crying “Hallelujah” in joy because they are going to keep their young core intact, with an optimistic eye on the future.

But despite being one of Kyrie’s preferred landing spots, and despite the possibility of unleashing Irving’s true potential in Erik Spoelstra’s system, the Heat camp has kept relatively quiet throughout this ordeal and appears to not be interested in acquiring the former All-Star game MVP. However, Shelburne seems to imply that NBA fans should never sleep on the Heat - especially with Pat Riley running the show.

Pat Riley has proven that he can weave his magic and pull off seemingly impossible trade negotiations.

And Riley, a person noted to have a keen basketball mind on and off the court, may have been just waiting for the right moment to pounce.

The Heat will probably offer either Goran Dragic or Hassan Whiteside in combination with some of Heat’s young assets including Justice Winslow and Josh Hamilton. However, the Heat will be hesitant to part ways with Dragic or Whiteside since those two are its current franchise cornerstone.

Dragic and Whiteside led the Heat to bounce back from a disastrous 11-30 start to finish the season 41-41, one of the biggest season turnarounds in NBA history.

While the team didn’t make the playoffs, it seems the Heat have found their identity and will probably make the playoffs next season, with or without Kyrie Irving. However, Miami’s situation looks almost exactly the same as the Phoenix Suns the Heat probably going to take its time in deciding to pull the trigger.

And given that Irving wants to be traded, the Cavs has lost some of its leverage and the Heat can just wait out until the Cavs cave in.

Phoenix Suns offered Eric Bledsoe, Dragan Bender, and Miami Heat 2018 first round pick for Kyrie Irving

There have been a lot of variations with regards to the trade package the Phoenix Suns has allegedly offered the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Cavs reportedly want a veteran starter, a first round pick still on a Rookie contract and a future first round pick. But the centerpiece of any package includes Eric Bledsoe.

Bledsoe is reportedly close to LeBron James and the Suns have the assets to pull this trade off. So why haven’t them? It is for the simple reason that Phoenix doesn’t want to part with Josh Jackson, the number 4 overall pick in this year’s NBA Draft.

Earlier reports suggest that the Suns are willing to part ways with Bledsoe, T.J. Warren, and the 2018 first round pick.

Yahoo Sports have recently reported that the Suns officially offered Bledsoe, the young prospect Dragan Bender, and the Miami Heat’s 2018 first round pick. While this seems to satisfy all parties, the Cavs are adamant that they want Josh Jackson, a versatile forward who could play at both ends of the floor.

And with the Cavs’ championship window seemingly winding down, they want to get assets who could help them immediately for another deep run in the playoffs. While Bender has huge potential, basketball pundits declare him still too raw for the NBA spotlight, but there’s no question that the talent is there.

Where do the Heat and Suns go from here?

The Miami Heat has locked-up the core pieces that helped them bounce back from a disastrous start and then finished with a .500 record. While they failed to make it to the NBA playoffs, the Heat have proven that they could win NBA games with the team they have. If the Miami Heat can get Kyrie Irving without losing too many assets in return, then the Heat are going to be one of the better teams in the relatively weaker Eastern Conference.

The Phoenix Suns, as the majority of the franchise’s fans seem to want, can sit idle and not pursue Kyrie Irving. Some even say that it’s not worth risking what may turn out to be a two-year rental in exchange for valuable assets who could help the Suns in the future. However, if the Suns can acquire Irving without losing too much, then Phoenix will have a slightly more competitive team with Irving aboard.