Kyrie Irving reportedly has interest in joining the burgeoning Minnesota Timberwolves, and the team’s stars want him brought in as well.
On Friday afternoon, we learned of the shocking revelation that Kyrie Irving has asked for a trade from the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Shortly thereafter, ESPN’s Chris Haynes reported that Irving has four preferred destinations: Miami, Minnesota, New York, and San Antonio.
The Timberwolves, which entered last season as a potentially exciting young team, is stocking up for a leap to the next level.
ESPN‘s Brian Windhorst reports that Karl-Anthony Towns and new T-Wolves wing Jimmy Butler want Kyrie to be part of that ascension.
League sources told ESPN that both Butler and Karl-Anthony Towns have been doing their part to recruit Irving on the idea of playing alongside them in Minnesota, and they’ve made it known to Wolves management that they want to add the Cavs star to the mix. Butler and Irving became tight in their time playing for USA Basketball together. Towns’ father, Karl Towns Sr., and Irving’s father, Drederick Irving, are connected through the basketball scene in northern New Jersey, where they both reside.
Of the four destinations that Irving has outlined, Minnesota may be one of the tougher ones to pull off, however. The team signed Jeff Teague at point guard after acquiring Butler on NBA Draft night. Irving would be substantial upgrade over the solid Teague, but because of NBA free agency rules, the former Pacer and Hawk can’t be traded until December 15.
Irving also doesn’t have the same leverage as a guy like Knicks star Carmelo Anthony, one of the players that could be swapped for Irving, as he does not have a no-trade clause, and therefore has little ability to decide where he moves. Only Anthony, LeBron James, and Dirk Nowitzki have no-trade clauses at the moment.
It may be tough to pull off, but a team with Irving, Butler, Andrew Wiggins, and Towns, assuming none of them are involved in the deal, would be pretty loaded.