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Report: Suns Were “Very Close” To Trading For Kyrie Irving on Draft Day; Cavs Want Bledsoe, Jackson and More

According to Phoenix radio personality John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 987, the Suns were “very close” to trading for Kyrie Irving on Draft Day.

Gambadoro later tweeted the Cavs are asking for Eric Bledsoe, No. 4 overall pick Josh Jackson and more in any Irving trade.


ESPN writers Zach Lowe and Brian Windhorst also speculated the Cavs would consider trading Irving for Bledsoe, Jackson and a first-round pick.

Bledsoe has two years left on his contract and would be a defensive upgrade from Irving, but is an injury risk, after playing only 31 games in 2015-16 and 66 games last season.

The star guard could have played more games in 2016-17, but was reportedly unhappy with the team’s decision to shut him down for the final 14 games of the season, as Phoenix looked to give young players more time once their Playoff hopes were eliminated.

He averaged 21.1 points per game on the season and will turn 28 in December.

Bledsoe shares an agent (Rich Paul of Klutch Sports) with LeBron James. In light of the Cavs’ signing of Derrick Rose, if Bledsoe were traded to Cleveland, it’s possible he and the 2011 MVP could start together in the backcourt.

Jackson, a 6-foot-8 wing averaged 16.3 points per game at Kansas in 2016-17 and was one of the most highly touted two-way players in the 2017 NBA Draft.

Windhorst noted the Cavs would possibly want to have Phoenix throw in a future first round draft pick along with Bledsoe and Jackson.

Sam Amico of AmicoHoops has linked Phoenix to being interested in acquiring Channing Frye’s expiring contract, so perhaps players like Tyson Chandler, Jared Dudley or T.J. Warren could be added into a potential trade centered around Bledsoe and Irving.

Former Cavalier James Jones is now Vice President of Basketball Operations in Phoenix, so his familiarity with Cleveland would make for an interesting dynamic in any trade conversations between the two teams.

One last wrinkle to throw in the mix is a report from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, revealing Suns guard Brandon Knight could miss the 2017-18 season with a torn ACL.

Knight is part of Phoenix’s backcourt trio rotation, which includes Devin Booker and Eric Bledsoe.

The injury to Knight could make Phoenix even more willing to trade for Irving, as the Suns already made Bledsoe available in trade talks, knowing if they didn’t receive a guard in exchange, Knight could play a big role and start, if needed.

Matt Medley is co-editor at NEO Sports Insiders, covers the Cleveland Cavaliers, Cleveland Indians and high school sports in Northeast Ohio. Follow @MedleyHoops on Twitter for live updates from games.

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