The biggest story of the past NBA offseason was Kyrie Irving handing in a trade request to the Cleveland Cavaliers. It was ultimately settled when the team managed to negotiate a trade with the Boston Celtics.
Since then, Irving has led the Celtics to the top of the Eastern Conference, while LeBron James and the Cavaliers, on the other hand, have seemingly taken a step back from the position they were in last season when the point guard was still part of their team.
Still, despite the recent success with his new team, many people have perceived Irving to be selfish and foolish considering Cleveland has been to each of the past three NBA Finals, winning one championship as well during that period.
However, in a recent feature by ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan, Irving said he believes the team attempted to trade him well before he requested to be moved. The Celtics star said to MacMullan: "They didn't want me there."
James, on the other hand, dismissed the notion that the current Eastern Conference champions wanted to move the point guard. He was asked about Irving's belief that the Cavaliers wanted to move him along after the team's win against the Atlanta Hawks last month.
"That makes absolutely no sense," James said, but when he was asked to elaborate, he simply smiled politely, slung his bag over his shoulder and exited the arena.
MacMullan said in her feature: “In mid-June, shortly before Griffin left, team and league sources confirm, the Cavs explored a three-way deal with Phoenix and Indiana that would have shipped Irving and Frye to the Suns and brought Eric Bledsoe and Paul George to Cleveland. The Suns resisted, unwilling to part with their No. 4 pick, which they planned to use to draft Josh Jackson.
“No formal offer was made by any of the teams, but news of this potential transaction stung Irving, who, sources close to him say, became convinced that LeBron's camp, which also represents Bledsoe, orchestrated the trade talks.”
With this in mind, it's obvious that not only was Irving hurt by the thought of being traded away, but he thought his teammate in James was behind all of it, and judging by James' response when asked about the subject, he might be right.