Kyrie Irving reportedly requested a trade from the Cavaliers only after hearing they discussed trading him.
But maybe Irving’s problem wasn’t with the Cavs as an organization exploring trading him.
Maybe it was with a specific Cav looking to trade him – LeBron James.
Jackie MacMullan of ESPN:
He was convinced and remains convinced – maybe not now, maybe now because he’s so enlightened – that LeBron wanted him gone, that LeBron wanted him traded, that LeBron wanted to bring in his guys. And that’s when he decided to go. It wasn’t that Gilbert was maybe going to trade him. The fact that he thought LeBron wanted him moved on. And now LeBron denies that that was ever the case. I asked him myself.
LeBron reportedly suggested Cleveland trade Irving for Damian Lillard, but that was supposedly after Irving’s trade request.