He is scheduled to make $18,868,625 next year and $20,099,188 in 2018-19 - team-friendly numbers considering Irving's stature. James has done most of the playmaking for Cleveland, helping Uncle Drew hide a relative weakness in his game. If Rose ends up with the Cavaliers, and Irving is gone, he would need to play a bigger role on the team. James makes everyone around him better, including Irving.
But is he a #1 guy?
Kyrie Irving averaged 25.2 points, 5.8 assists and 3.2 rebounds in his sixth season with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Plus, the rebuilding Lakers are far from contending in the stacked Western Conference. The Golden State Warriors are showing that teams might be approaching this in a very wrong way, but most National Basketball Association teams are still thinking in terms of clear hierarchy, instead of something a lot more democratic, flowing and smooth. He had to do a lot for San Antonio last season, and it did cause his defense to take a dip (though not almost as significant as many advanced metrics indicated). Even when it was him and Kevin Love (which might suggest why it's been so hard for the Cavaliers to find a trade for Love), the Cavaliers had a negative net rating. Cleveland has reached three consecutive NBA Finals with James behind the wheel.More news: Teens mock, laugh at disabled man as he drowns to death
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Monday's meeting comes days after Windhorst reported that Cavaliers' point guard Kyrie Irving requested to be traded during a team meeting the previous week. The NBA is a business, but players, just as Irving has shown, see things in a less corporate way sometimes. As brilliant as Irving would be to add more offensive creation, elite ball handling and more go-to scoring to help when teams lock in on Jokic in the playoffs, it's an easy "no" if that's the asking price.
At a certain point, you have to wonder: How is Wiggins, a former No. 1 overall pick and an emerging talent in his own right, going to feel about being third fiddle and being the one whose name is constantly brought up in trade rumors?