One of the deals that seems to make the most sense for Kyrie Irving involves sending him to Phoenix in exchange for a package that includes rookie wing Josh Jackson. There would be a few other pieces involved — someone like Eric Bledsoe, along with a draft pick or two, makes sense — but Jackson is the kind of young player with immense upside who could make it worth the Cavaliers’ while to trade Irving.
The issue has been that Phoenix really doesn’t want to move Jackson because of his considerable potential and concerns about whether Irving would sign long term when he hits free agency in 2019. There have been a few reports that he’s off-limits in a deal between the two sides, and even Jackson thinks it’s not going to happen.
“I think if that was going to happen, it would have happened by now,” Jackson told Sirius XM NBA Radio, as transcribed by CBS Sports. Jackson continued by saying he’ll play his best wherever he ends up, but that his gut feeling is that he’ll be staying in Phoenix.
“I still don’t know what’s going to happen, but I’ll make the best of whatever situation I’m presented with. If I’m traded to China, whatever, I’m going to come out and be happy and just try to make the best of it. … I was kind of in the dark a little bit, but I got a feeling that the trade really wasn’t going to happen.”
This logic does make sense — Irving told the Cavaliers he wanted to get traded about a month ago, so Cleveland has had plenty of time to go out and try to work on deals. Even though the Suns couldn’t move Jackson until one month after he signed his rookie deal, that passed on August 4, so Phoenix has been free to move him for nine days and it hasn’t happened yet.
Anything can happen before the season starts, so it’s still possible that Jackson could get moved in a move that lands Irving if Phoenix has a change of heart. As for the reports that he had been promised he wouldn’t be traded, Jackson said “those words haven’t been said,” but still, Jackson’s assumption that he would have been moved right now if he was on the table seems safe.
(Via CBS Sports)