The team that reportedly could sneak into the Kyrie Irving trade conversation

2016 NBA Finals - Game Five

The Cleveland Cavaliers and Boston Celtics made one of the biggest trades of the summer when Kyrie Irving was granted his wish off of LeBron James' team.

That's what the basketball world thought, at least, until Cleveland began pumping the brakes on the entire ordeal after Isaiah Thomas went through his physical with Cavaliers team doctors. The teams have been engaged in a standoff since, with Cleveland potentially pulling back on the deal due to concerns about Thomas' injured hip. 

Thomas has gone to bat for himself promising a full recovery, but a lot is at stake for the Cavaliers. The return package for Irving will be key for the franchise's future with LeBron's free looming free agency in 2018 already casting a looming shadow over the team. 

Should the Cavaliers completely back out of the deal - they can void the trade if team doctors deem it in their best interest - the Irving trade circus may be back in town. One team might be ready to swoop in with an enticing enough offer to wrap things up with Kyrie and Cleveland for a second time this summer. 

The Milwaukee Bucks have remained in the mix, one of the teams linked to working toward structuring a palatable deal for the Cavaliers. The Bucks could offer a package including reigning Rookie of the Year Malcolm Brogdon and Khris Middleton, according to Zach Lowe of ESPN

Milwaukee could put their package over the top by including a future first-round pick, according to Lowe, but haven't opened that door for Cleveland just yet. The team would likely be willing to part ways with a draft pick if it was enough to seal the deal, or if Kyrie indicated he wanted to stay in Milwaukee long-term. 

Milwaukee Bucks v Indiana Pacers

The Cavaliers hold the chips right now and must first decide what their plan is with the once-agreed-upon deal with Boston. A trade being voided due to health concerns isn't unheard of, but the way this has been handled certainly seems unprecedented. 

Boston once had Kyrie in hand, ready to add a young star to play alongside freshly-signed Gordon Hayward. Now, their fate is in the hands of rookie general manager Koby Altman and Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert.

The Celtics are on pause, awaiting there fate, giving teams like the Bucks a chance to catapult themselves into the Irving conversation. Boston may ultimately end up with Kyrie, but it's become a winding path to get there.

News Now - Sport News