The possibility of LeBron James leaving the Cavaliers next summer has been widely discussed.
But could Kyrie Irving beat LeBron out of Cleveland?
According to ESPN, the Cavaliers’ star point guard has asked owner Dan Gilbert for a trade.
The Heat is reportedly one of a handful of teams Irving has asked to be traded to.
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The New York Knicks, San Antonio Spurs and Minnesota Timberwolves are the other teams the former Duke star has on his list, ESPN reported.
Irving, 25, has three years and $60 million left on the five-year, $94 million deal he signed in 2015.
He does not have a no-trade clause in his contract, meaning the Cavaliers could send him anywhere they strike a deal and would not be contained to any teams Irving would request.
The Cavaliers selected Irving with the top pick in the 2011 NBA Draft and finished last in the Central Division in two of his first three seasons before James left the Heat in 2014 to return to Cleveland.
In the three seasons since, James and Irving have become a dangerous combo that has led the Cavs from the bottom of the standings to three consecutive trips to the NBA Finals, winning Cleveland’s first pro championship since 1964 two seasons ago.
“Kyrie and I had a meeting with Cavs leadership where we discussed many different scenarios in reference to Kyrie and his future with the team,” agent Jeff Wechsler told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
“The basis of those discussions and what went on in those discussions are between the Cavs and us. We are respectfully going to keep those private.”
The Heat, at least right at this moment, is limited in what bargaining chips it has were it to pursue Irving.
Miami cannot trade 2017 first-round draft pick Bam Adebayo until Aug. 1 and could not trade players signed this offseason such as Kelly Olynyk, Dion Waiters and James Johnson until Dec. 15.
The Heat is also prohibited from dealing away any future first-round picks because two are already committed to the Phoenix Suns as part of the 2015 deal for Goran Dragic.
Heat president Pat Riley, who has said he would like to see his team “grow organically” earlier this month, would only be able to use players who were under contract last season such as Dragic, Hassan Whiteside, Tyler Johnson and Justice Winslow.
“I think even though we have some long-term contracts, they are assets,” Riley told reporters last week.
“We don’t look at our players like assets, but they are assets. If something comes along somewhere along the way, there are opportunities to do other things. I don’t have plans to do that, but you need those kinds of assets.”
Miami Herald sportswriter Manny Navarro contributed to this report.