Adrian Wojnarowski has reported that Jamal Murray is on the Cavs list of potential targets in exchange for Kyrie Irving. Would the Denver Nuggets be willing to part with their blue chip guard?
ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski wrote a column on Tuesday morning centered around LeBron James' free agency next summer and the impact that has on potential deals involving Kyrie Irving.
Woj explains that the Cleveland Cavaliers will be targeting a young star in any possible Irving trade. A trade that will be made with an eye towards the future—one that doesn't include LeBron James.
The possibility of LeBron leaving next summer has dictated the way the Cavs are viewing the Irving situation. Instead of trading for veterans and older players to help the team pursue another championship, the team will look for young stars as the team braces for the increasingly likely scenario of a full on rebuild.
Woj details a list of what young stars the Cavs are hoping to acquire. One of those names is one that Nuggets fans know quite well:
The Nuggets have made it clear that a package featuring both Jamal Murray and Gary Harris is too much to give up for Irving. It's possible that Denver would be willing to part with just Murray in a different package, but this front office has already shown how high they are on Murray when they refused to include him in any trade offers for Jimmy Butler.
Trading Murray and his future for Kyrie is a risk. Irving has a player option in 2019-2020, and it's one that he's likely to use. There is no guarantee that Irving is going to sign a contract extension with the team he's traded to. There is zero indication that he would want to remain in Denver long term.
Irving is a far superior player, but two years of his service might not seem as valuable to this front office as Murray's potential and his rookie contract.
The Nuggets have Murray on the books for the next four seasons and can then offer him a qualifying offer in 2020-2021. This type of trade forces Denver to commit hard to a philosophy and a vision for this team. Should they take the risk and grab Irving, solidifying a new big-three in Denver? Or should they remain patient, and trust in the continued development of their young core?
You can either get two years of Kyrie Irving or at least five more seasons with Jamal Murray. I'll take the latter.