It’s been a whirlwind of a summer, but there’s a late submission for the craziest move of the offseason: Kyrie Irving’s trade demand.The Cavaliers star has reportedly asked team brass to move him, stunning everyone from his teammates to outside observers. The relationship between Irving and the Cavs has grown so toxic that the team reportedly can’t even get him on the phone. With one of the NBA’s biggest stars on the trading block, there’s been no shortage of suitors. What team can’t use a superstar point guard in his prime? With that in mind, The Crossover asked its writers: Which team should trade for Kyrie? While most teams have already made their “big move” this summer, there’s plenty of teams with assets and point-guard needs to make a deal. Let’s take a look at five of the most plausible scenarios. The Earth, no matter cheap jerseys what shape it might be, will collapse in on itself if this completely insane but also completely perfect trade happens. The Celtics do this because Irving is younger than Thomas, because he’s more famous than Thomas, because he’s bigger than Thomas, because his offensive ceiling as The Man in a Brad Stevens system is higher than Thomas, and because he’s under contract for a year longer than Thomas. Danny Ainge would have an answer to skeptics suggesting he is too conservative in trade talks, he would sell high on Thomas and pass any potential injury issues to Cleveland, he would buy himself another year before needing to shell out true max money to his point guard, and he would theoretically ease the transition to his next generation core by preparing to build around Irving, Gordon Hayward, Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and company. The Cavaliers do this because they need to maximize their short-term return to chase the 2018 title and appease LeBron James, Thomas is the only All-NBA level point guard who is marginally available, Crowder is a playoff-tested wing defender who could give quality minutes in a Finals match-up against Golden State, and the first-round pick is a chip to soften the blow if James and/or Thomas leave next summer. First-time GM Koby Altman could salvage Cleveland’s rocky summer by selling this deal as his organization’s best shot to keep up with Golden State, by giving James the creative and dependable secondary playmaker who he desperately needs if Irving exits, and by adding a hard-nosed veteran stopper to an aging bench that provided little during the 2017 Finals. The real winners, however, would be the thousands of Twitter uses who spent last season debating whether Irving or Thomas was better as this trade would immediately pay off with a series of must-see head-to-head match-ups and a possible Eastern Conference finals showdown. Thomas is entering a contract year with a shot at his first big payday. Irving is clearly thirsting for his own stage. Let’s make this happen and marvel at the insanity that will inevitably unfold. Or, Ainge can sit tight and play killjoy yet again. — Ben Golliver
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Nearly a month after Charlotte Hornets rookie Malik Monk was ruled out of summer league with a sprained ankle, he still hasn’t been cleared for full basketball activity.But that should change in the next few days Monk, the No. 11 overall pick last month, said his target date to return to the court is Tuesday. He injured his left ankle in a pre-draft workout, and the Hornets ruled him out of Orlando summer league games and practices. Monk spoke with media Saturday at an autograph signing in Simpsonville, Ky., near Louisville. Monk starred at shooting guard for Kentucky in his one college season before turning pro. Monk was so frustrated by sitting out that he avoided watching summer league games. “If I’m not playing, I can’t watch,” Monk said. “I was mad the whole time. So, yeah, I was super mad.” The Hornets told Monk it was more important to heal the injury than try to play through it in Orlando. With Monk out, the Hornets’ other rookie, second-round pick Dwayne Bacon from Florida State, had a couple of big games starting at shooting guard. The Hornets had hoped to experiment with Monk some at point guard in summer league, where there are not stakes as big as cheap jerseys winning or losing games that count. Monk is somewhat undersized at 6-3 to be an NBA shooting guard. He didn’t play the point at Kentucky, but believes he has the skills for either guard position. “I think they want me to do both,” Monk said. “I think I can do it pretty good.” Monk averaged 19.8 points and shot 40 percent from the college 3-point line last season. However, he might struggle defensively against players who will generally be taller than him. Monk said he looks forward to playing alongside Hornets starting point guard Kemba Walker. Monk sees similarities between Walker, an All-Star last season, and former Kentucky point guard De’Aaron Fox, the fifth overall pick to the Sacramento Kings. “Kemba does everything just like Fox,” Monk said. Monk showed his cocky side Saturday, repeating that he’d beat Hornets owner Michael Jordan in a game of one-on-one. Jordan might have been the greatest player of his generation – maybe ever – but, as Monk noted, he is 54. “He’s pretty old right now,” Monk said of Jordan. “I think I can get him.”
The much-anticipated partnership between Dennis Schröder and Dwight Howard in the pick-and-roll never fully materialized a year ago. Yes, there were moments of brilliance but, in the grand scheme, the two never developed the high-end chemistry cheap authentic jerseys (or willingness to engage) that would have greatly aided the offense.While that is “old news” at this point, Schröder has a new potential pick-and-roll partner in the form of Dewayne Dedmon and the new big man is ready to get started. Dedmon caught up with the good folks at Hawks.com and expressed excitement about his partner-in-crime. “I’m definitely looking forward to playing with Dennis,” Dedmon said. “He’s a great point guard. I like his game. I like the way he plays. It’s a great young team. Playing against them… everybody plays hard, everybody shows up to work.” While this is, quite obviously, not an in-depth answer by any means, it does shine a light on things that Dedmon chose Schröder as the player he was most looking forward to playing with on the current roster. An argument could (easily) be made that Schröder is the best current player on the roster but the working relationship between the point guard and a pick-and-roll center will be pivotal. Dedmon’s offensive upside is uncertain at this point but he is both athletic and capable of finishing around the rim. Questions with his hands are real and, frankly, Schröder’s ability as a facilitator hasn’t fully surfaced but, provided Dedmon is willing to roll hard to the rim, the young point guard will have an option that he didn’t always have in 2016-2017. When asked what strengths he brings to the table, Dedmon indicated that “bringing energy, playing hard every day, blocking shots and giving the fans something to cheer about” came to mind. If he can simply do those things, the investment on Atlanta’s side will be a sound one and the situation will help Schröder in the process.
In case you haven’t caught on to the pattern yet, every time the NBA and Nike reveal a new team’s uniform for the upcoming season, 2K releases an NBA 2K18 screenshot with a star player from that team. This time, it’s the Portland Trail Blazers and star point guard Damian Lillard.We can clearly see the leaner player models again with Lillard, as has been the case with the previous renders that have been released earlier in the week. Lillard’s screenshot is cheap jerseys nba perhaps one of the best and most authentic that we’ve seen thus far. The body type is on point and the updated facial hair is another plus. Lillard’s face is also sleeker than it was in last year’s game and the eye region looks more lifelike. I’m really anxious to see what these models look like in motion. That’s always the truest test of visual realism. I’ll be at 2K headquarters next week to get hands-on experience with the game, and I’ll be sure to take a look at Lillard and others in the game during my time.
Late July is generally not supposed to be the time for landscape altering transactions in the NBA. The heavy lifting is normally done sometime between draft week in late June and shortly after the free agent moratorium ends in early July. Logical teams want to make their big moves first and conduct the rest of their offseason accordingly, filling in the edges around the larger picture front and center.Life doesn’t always stick to the plan you’d prefer, though. Sometimes, a really good player ups and decides he no longer wants to play with the league’s best player and one of the greatest players of all time. On the court, there’s little sane reasoning for anyone not to want to play with LeBron James, a preternatural basketball phenomenon and, seemingly, one of the most malleable chess pieces in existence. Off the court, though, you can squint and see why it may be tough to be a number two, to live in James’ immense shadow, and to receive mostly blame in hard times and rarely the same effusive praise in good times. And so it is that Kyrie Irving has told the Cleveland Cavaliers he wants out. Again, the logic is arguable, but when it comes to a player’s feelings, who are we to really judge? James disagrees with how he’s been characterized in the ordeal and the Cavaliers say any animosity has been “overblown.” Irving’s camp is putting it out there that Irving wants to be his own star, run his own show, and not be beholden to James reportedly sometimes prickly leadership style. The Cavaliers do not have to honor said request, but at a press conference Wednesday introducing new general manager Koby Altman, if you find your way through the spin, it’s clear Cleveland would prefer to not have to deal with yet another in-season circus, which would probably be the case of Irving remains on the roster when the season opens. Altman called it a “fluid situation,” but a trade is believed to be inevitable. This obviously stands to have an impact on the Toronto Raptors, who will once again measure themselves using the Cavs as the stick in 2017-18. As currently constructed, the Raptors aren’t any closer to catching the Cavs or threatening them in a playoff series, but they’re one of a handful of Eastern Conference teams that might be able to take a swing at them if they falter. In all likelihood, this news only impacts the Raptors to the degree it signals Cleveland’s instability ahead of a huge summer in 2018, when James can leave and further tilt the balance in the East. But even though the Raptors aren’t likely to be able to top Cleveland even without Irving (the Cavs might make it back to the NBA Finals even before accounting for the return for Irving), any changes at the top of the East are worth monitoring. If you’ve been engaging in sports betting this offseason, you know that the Raptors are well behind Cleveland and Boston in terms of the title odds for Eastern Conference teams. They’re even behind the 76ers, and tied with the Bucks and Wizards. It’s hard to gauge just how much those lines would swing with any given deal, but there cheap jerseys nba are also have odds on an Irving trade, which can inform how the East might shake out post-megadeal. Irving remaining in Cleveland still remains the most likely outcome (+150), but it’s not favored versus the field. Minnesota (+200) is the most likely landing spot, followed by New York (+550), Phoenix (+600), Boston and Miami (+1000), and Denver and San Antonio (+1200). For the Raptors, the hope is probably two-fold: Irving doesn’t land in a situation where he would elevate another East team to the second tier (this seems unlikely given the reported asking price from Cleveland and Irving’s own limitations as a true No. 1, however dynamic and exciting he may be), and Irving doesn’t bring a return that makes it more likely James stays beyond next summer (this is next to impossible to tell from outside James’ circle, but anything that strengthens the Cavaliers’ medium-term would hurt; making Cleveland better for 2017-18 doesn’t move the needle much). As for Toronto themselves, they’re off the board as an Irving landing spot, likely because an Irving-Kyle Lowry swap is a case where all three sides would say no (Toronto would get cheaper but probably a little worse considering the defensive side; Cleveland would see their tax payment balloon even further; Irving wouldn’t be the clear-cut No. 1 alongside DeRozan). Is there a destination you’d like to see Irving land, from a Toronto perspective? From a general NBA fandom perspective? Anywhere that scares you? We need things to talk about here in late July, so thank shammgod for Uncle Drew.