Kyrie Irving has met with Cleveland Cavaliers management to request a trade, according to sources cited by Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com. Irving reportedly wants to become more of a focal point, escaping the gravity of teammate LeBron James.
The request came last week and was made to Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert. Irving has expressed that he wants to go play in a situation where he can be a more focal point and no longer wants to play alongside LeBron James, sources said.
Irving's agent Jeff Wechsler would not confirm or deny whether Irving asked for a trade.
Windhorst says the move came as a surprise to Cleveland’s superstar.
James was informed of Irving's request and was blindsided and disappointed, sources said. Other members of the team have learned of Irving's intentions in recent days as well.
Irving’s request comes after the Cavaliers parted ways with General Manager David Griffin earlier this summer. The Cavaliers drafted Irving first overall in the 2011 NBA Draft but Griffin signed him to his current extension, apparently with expectations that weren’t fulfilled entirely:
When Irving signed his deal, he expected to be the franchise player for the foreseeable future. But about two weeks later, James arrived from Miami. The sudden change of situation rocked Irving, and he has vacillated at times over the past three years about working as a secondary star to James and the original plan of having his own team.
Irving and James have led the Cavaliers to the NBA Finals in each of the last three seasons, winning a title together in 2016. Irving averaged 25 points and 6 assists for Cleveland last season.
Update: Chris Haynes adds information on possible destinations.
ESPN Sources: On Kyrie Irving front, Cavs were given four preferred landing spots: New York, Miami, San Antonio, Minnesota.— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) July 21, 2017