As the dust begins to settle on the hectic NBA offseason in preparation for the return of the NFL, former Cleveland Cavaliers general manager David Griffin provided his two cents on one of the hottest topics this summer, Kyrie Irving’s trade request.
After working closely with the New Jersey native, Griffin was able to provide insight into Irving’s decision during his appearance on ESPN’s “The Jump.”
“This is a guy who handled the situation exactly like he was supposed to,” Griffin said. “He went to Dan Gilbert privately, told him he would be happier somewhere else.
“The absolute worst thing this guy could have done was pretend to be all-in and sink the ship from within. Most guys don’t have the courage to do what he did. That’s not youth and ignorance. That’s a little bit more courage than what people gave him credit for,” Griffin continued.
Back in 2014, Irving signed a five-year deal to be the main guy in Cleveland, just before LeBron James returned to The Land.
“This is a guy who recruited LeBron, [Gordon] Hayward, and a host of free agents when he decided to sign and stay in Cleveland,” Griffin said. “And all of a sudden, LeBron came back.”
“So he was sold a totally different situation than he’s actually worked and won a championship in. I see this as him looking for a fit for himself now and to take the next step of his career.”
“This is a guy who wants to know how good he can be,” Griffin added. “LeBron casts a very large shadow over an organization and most of it is really, really positive. You know you’re expected to win a championship. But what it doesn’t always allow is for a player like Kyrie to test his boundaries and see how good he can really be on the court. “Can I actually be the front man for a team like that?’”
“He just wanted to put himself in a position, I think, to find out exactly what he has as a 25-year-old entering his prime.”