By: Will Burchfield
Among the numerous teams pursuing a trade for Kyrie Irving, the Suns appear to have the inside lane.
However, Phoenix is reportedly unwilling to part with the two players Cleveland covets the most: Josh Jackson and Devin Booker.
Should the two sides fail to strike a deal, the Cavaliers will turn their trade efforts toward the Pistons, among other teams, per NBA insider Sam Amico.
“Word is, if the Cavs can’t get something done with the Suns, the Pistons will be among the teams they turn to next,” Amico reported on Tuesday morning.
Irving has drawn interest from “approximately 20 teams,” per Adrian Wojnarowsi, since word leaked last month of his desire to be traded. The four-time All-Star is reportedly unhappy playing second fiddle to LeBron James.
The Pistons “have had some level of conservation with the Cavs,” Stan Van Gundy said last week, though it’s unclear if Detroit has made a formal offer.
In exchange for Irving, “The Cavaliers want a package that resembles the 2011 Nuggets-Knicks deal for Carmelo Anthony — young players, win-now veterans and draft picks,” per Wojnarowski.
A reader asked Amico: How about Andre Drummond, Reggie Jackson and Stanley Johnson for Irving and Tristan Thompson? (The deal works in ESPN’s NBA Trade Machine.)
Amico replied, “The Cavs and Pistons have held some talks, and I have heard they did involve Jackson, but those didn’t get very far. I actually like your idea, but I doubt the Pistons are willing to part with Drummond or Johnson just yet.”
Drummond, Jackson and Johnson all figure to be in the Pistons’ starting five next season.
Van Gundy was asked at the end of last month, shortly after the Avery Bradley trade, if he feels the Pistons are done making moves this summer. Most likely, he said, with the following caveat: “You never know.”
“Stuff comes up, and you’re always looking. (General manager) Jeff Bower’s on the phone with guys every single day and you just never know what’s gonna happen. He’s always working,” said Van Gundy. “There could be lower-level stuff, but you never know when anything major could come up.”