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Cleveland Cavaliers superstars Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love could potentially be on the move this offseason.
Sam Amico of Amico Hoops reported Monday former general manager David Griffin “had been exploring several trades” involving Love. Although the Cavs announced Griffin will not return as general manager, Amico clarified the talks are still ongoing.
Amico also reported several teams reached out to Cleveland regarding Irving, whom “Griffin was unwilling to move.” However, Amico said it is unclear whether owner Dan Gilbert is as adamant about keeping the point guard.
Irving and Love were critical members of Cleveland’s three straight runs to the NBA Finals, and Irving will forever be a Cavaliers legend because of his Game 7 winning shot in the 2016 NBA Finals. However, the team’s championship window is limited considering LeBron James will turn 33 years old during the 2017-18 campaign and has a player option for 2018-19.
The difference between the Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors was readily apparent when Golden State steamrolled its way to a five-game win in the 2017 Finals. What’s more, it scored 121.6 points per game in the series, consistently exposing a lackluster Cleveland defense.
While Love and Irving are All-Star-caliber players, moving one or both could improve the team’s defense.
Opponents shot 4.3 percent better than their normal averages within six feet when Love guarded them in 2016-17, and they shot 5.2 percent better overall and 5.9 percent better from three-point range when Irving defended them, per NBA.com.
Perhaps with defense in mind, Marc Stein of ESPN reported Cleveland was working on multi-team trades involving Jimmy Butler. Amico previously reported the Cavaliers were talking to the Indiana Pacers about Paul George.
Butler and George are each three-time members of an NBA All-Defensive team and would help Cleveland make up ground on the Warriors on that end of the floor.
The Cavaliers figure to be one of the busiest…