CLEVELAND, OHIO — Scribbles in my Cleveland Cavaliers notebook as I try to find out what’s happening on the Kyrie Irving trade front:
1. Minnesota Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor said this about Andrew Wiggins: “We want to sign him to a long-term contract and we want to keep him here.” Taylor told that to Sid Hartman of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. In addition to owning the Wolves, Taylor also owns that newspaper. Taylor said the Wolves are working on a maximum, five-year contract for Wiggins.
2. If the Cavs are to work a deal for Irving to Minnesota, Wiggins is the most likely Cavs target. Yes, the Wolves could still sign-and-trade him. But that would create some bad blood — unless Wiggins wanted to be part of the deal. As one NBA source told me, Wiggins signing a long-term deal with Minnesota makes it unlikely the Wolves will trade him.
3. Kyrie Irving’s four teams on his trade list are New York, Minnesota, San Antonio and Miami. As I look at the list, I find no pattern. For example … Miami? I suppose it’s a great spot to spend the winter. But the Heat just signed Dion Waiters to a four-year, $52 million deal. They had major chemistry issues when in the same backcourt with the Cavs from 2012-14. I’ve not heard any viable rumors about Irving and Miami.
4. I heard Phoenix would be very interested in dealing for Irving. But the Suns would want to know if Irving will sign an extension to stay in Phoenix. His contract is up in the summer of 2018. I’m told Irving is not about to commit to any team at this point. He has two seasons left on his contract and wants to keep his options open.
5. The Suns would be willing to trade Eric Bledsoe as part of a deal for Irving, even if Irving makes no commitment. But they would not want to include rookie Josh Jackson in that deal, assuming Irving keeps his options open. The Cavs would love shooting guard Devin Booker, but he is as close to untouchable as anyone on the Suns roster.
6. The Suns would love to put together a package with Brandon Knight, T.J. Warren and Bledsoe for Irving and some others such as Iman Shumpert or Channing Frye to make it work on the salary cap. That has little appeal to the Cavs. Knight has a torn ACL knee injury and will miss the entire season. So forget him.
7. I still think Phoenix is a likely destination for Irving. The Suns can be tempted at some point to give up Jackson, an athletic small forward who would help the Cavs. He was the No. 4 pick in the draft. But right now, it appears the two teams are just waiting to see if anything else comes up, such as a third-party deal.
8. Irving is from New Jersey and would love to play for the Knicks. It would give him the type of national profile he craves. The only player the Cavs would really want from New York in an Irving deal is Kristaps Prozinigis. It’s very unlikely the Knicks would part with their gifted 7-foot-3 center.
9. There are the never-ending Carmelo Anthony rumors. He does want to come to the Cavs. He doesn’t want to come to the Cavs. He does want to come to the Cavs … you get the point. But Anthony should not be a focal point of any trade involving Irving. Like LeBron James, Anthony does have a no-trade clause.
10. My guess is it’s a media creation, but there have been reports of a deal centering on Portland’s Damian Lillard and Irving. That would really interest me. Lillard has four years and $115 million on his contract. I don’t know why Portland would trade their All-Star guard who is signed for four years for Irving, who can leave in two years.
11. Besides Phoenix, the other team likely to be involved in an Irving deal is Denver. The Cavs and Denver had a three-way trade worked out involving Paul George (to Cleveland), Kevin Love (to Denver) and other players to Indiana. The Pacers backed out of the deal.
12. Denver doesn’t have a lot of big-name players, but the Nuggets do have some young players who are absolutely loved by many NBA executives. Start with 22-year-old shooting guard Gary Harris. He averaged 15 points last season, shooting 50 percent from the field (42 percent on 3-pointers). The stats geeks believe he is a hidden gem.
13. Wilson Chandler is a 6-foot-8 small forward. The 30-year-old averaged 15.7 points, 6.5 rebounds and shot 46 percent last season. He’s a career 14-point scorer. Lots of scouts like 20-year-old Jamal Murray, a 6-foot-4 guard who averaged 9.9 points shooting 40 percent as a 19-year-old rookie in 2016-17.
14. I hear Denver will not give up Murray and Harris in a deal. The point is Denver has some players who could be attractive to the Cavs. It’s possible there could be a three-way deal with Denver and Phoenix.
15. Meanwhile, Irving is being annoying as he fires some social media shots at LeBron James. He desperately wants out, and I expect him to be somewhere else by the opening of training camp.