Before LeBron James made the move back to Cleveland from Miami in 2014, Kyrie Irving was apparently working on a master plan of his own.
According to former Cavaliers general manager David Griffin, Irving had garnered commitments to bring in Gordon Hayward, Trevor Ariza and Channing Frye. James’ return to Cleveland, though, naturally caused that deal to fall apart.
David Griffin says Kyrie had Gordon Hayward, Trevor Ariza and Channing Frye committed to Cavs in 2014 before Lebron returned. (via @CLETalkingHeads)
— MyNBAUpdate (@MyNBAUpdate) July 29, 2018
Now, that “super team” wouldn’t have necessarily competed with James’ “Big Three” in Miami, but it would have definitely been interesting to see.
Hayward even visited the Cavaliers when he was a restricted free agent that season, and said last August how much Kyrie was pushing for him to land there.
“I actually went to Cleveland on a visit when I was a restricted free agent (in 2014), and Kyrie came in and was saying how much fun it’d be if I was on the team and kinda recruited me to go there,” Hayward said last August. “And then LeBron came and that kinda squashed that whole thing.”
Now, the commitments wouldn’t have necessarily worked. The Jazz ended up matching Hayward’s offer with the Charlotte Hornets that season, keeping him in Utah. It could have kept Ariza in the Eastern Conference, instead of him landing with the Houston Rockets that offseason. And Frye landed in Orlando that season, before eventually being traded halfway through the next season to the Cavaliers the next season.
But at the very least, if Irving pulled it off, it would have been an interesting shakeup to the NBA landscape.
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