NBA

Kyrie Irving.

Ex-Cavs GM David Griffin explains how he saw Kyrie Irving's trade coming

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Kyrie Irving's trade request in the summer came as a shock to the Cleveland Cavaliers and the entire NBA world.

After reaching three straight NBA Finals and winning a championship in 2016 with the team, it came as a major surprise that the point guard wanted to leave.

But one man who was expecting this outcome was former Cavs general manager David Griffin.

The executive left his position with the franchise in June after owner Dan Gilbert opted not to offer him a new deal when his contract expired.

During his time in Cleveland, he saw the writing on the wall for Irving and believes a departure was inevitable for him.

"I wasn't surprised," Griffin told Bleacher Report's Howard Beck on "The Full 48" podcast. "Going through those seasons with Kyrie, you could see the ebb and flow, and how he felt he fit, and how engaged he was, from day to day and series to series.

"It was really, I think, difficult for him the longer he went through it, to be in that scenario."

2017 NBA Finals - Game Four

The 25-year-old's sudden desire to leave Ohio, and to no longer play with LeBron James, led to a trade to the Boston Celtics that could potentially change the landscape in the Eastern Conference.

The C's sent Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and multiple draft picks to Cleveland in order to acquire Irving.

But the four-time All-Star's decision to move has led to question marks about the state of his relationship with LeBron and how much of a part this played.

The duo have not done enough to play down talk of a rift between them and Griffin admits that Kyrie did have an issue playing with James, but only because of time on the ball.

Boston Celtics vs. Cleveland Cavaliers

"The shadow being cast I don't think really had any bearing on it, because Kyrie ended up making the shot that won a Finals series for us, so I think he had plenty of runway to have his own star," Griffin said.

"I think what it really was, was just, LeBron's so talented, and he is so incredibly good at every position on the court, Kyrie was gonna be taken off the ball more than he really felt like he could grow and evolve under those circumstances.

"So I feel like the fit relative to the game Kyrie wanted to display may not have been as good, frankly, because it wasn't called upon, because LeBron's better at it.

"He was playing with perhaps the best playmaker of his generation and it's very difficult to further your own playmaking game in that situation."

Boston Celtics vs. Cleveland Cavaliers

'Uncle Drew' is now in a situation in Boston where he is the number one option and the entire offence runs through him and he can dictate the game how he wants.

He and LBJ are two ball-dominant players but they worked well together. Despite their success, Irving wanted to spread his wings and lead a franchise himself and he now has an opportunity to add to the many championships the Celtics have.

Topics:
Eastern Conference
NBA
Boston Celtics
Atlantic Division
Cleveland Cavaliers
Central Division
Kyrie Irving
LeBron James

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