Cleveland Cavaliers All-Star Kyrie Irving is seeking a trade and would be interested in joining the Miami Heat, according to a report from ESPN.
Irving is looking for a bigger role on his new club and is also attempting to escape the shadow of LeBron James. With another team, Irving should be the go-to guy on most days and the 25-year old appears eager to serve in that capacity.
In addition to Miami, Irving would welcome a trade to the New York Knicks, San Antonio Spurs and Minnesota Timberwolves. The Knicks could be an attractive trade partner, as they have been publicly shopping fellow All-Star Carmelo Anthony at times. A trade involving the two stars needs to be considered one of the more likely scenarios.
It is not known if Miami has any interest in acquiring Irving, but it would be a suprise if the team did not ponder the possibility. Irving has game-changing ability and is just entering the prime of his career. The Heat would need to send some premium talent back to Cleveland in the deal and lack draft picks to sweeten the deal.
Due to NBA rules, Miami can not trade any players it signed this off-season until December. The Heat would likely have to include Goran Dragic or Hassan Whiteside in any trade for Irving. A deal of this magnitude would be considered a long-shot and would be a challenge to put together. Heat president Pat Riley can never be counted out however in these kind of pursuits.
Irving is owed $60 million over the next three years, but he can opt-out of the deal prior to the 2019-20 season. If Miami was to acquire Irving, it would be guaranteed two years of his services, with the possibility of a third. That assurance could make it easier for Riley to part with premium players in a trade.
If Miami does not land Irving, it still has a roster that should be considered a playoff contending one. In the second half of the 2016-17 season, the Heat opened eyes and the team has brought back most of the same roster for another run.