David Griffin: I would've traded Kyrie around draft if he asked me to

by 4d ago
Maddie Meyer / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Poor timing appears to have delayed Kyrie Irving's departure from Cleveland by more than two months.

Former Cavaliers general manager David Griffin revealed that if the All-Star point guard had come to him sooner with his trade request, he would've made it happen leading up to the draft when there were deals on the table.

"Kyrie knows this and we've talked about this very clearly," Griffin said Tuesday on SiriusXM NBA Radio. "If he had articulated to me … he wanted to be traded, we would have traded him.

"You're all the way in or all the way out on winning a championship. You don't get to bring the house down from within, and if you're miserable, the worst thing you can do is hide it. So I think what he did was what he was supposed to do for a team that wants to win a championship, he made it very clear."

However, Griffin parted ways with the organization on June 19 - just three days before the draft. About one month later, word came out that Irving told the Cavs he wants out.

Reports emerged soon after that Irving had actually informed the club before the draft of his desire to move on, so he could find happiness and maximize his potential elsewhere (ideally away from LeBron James). It was believed the 25-year-old star wanted to join his USA Basketball teammate Jimmy Butler on the Chicago Bulls.

Interestingly enough, there were also rumors that while he was still with the Cavaliers, Griffin had been working on a three-team swap that would've brought Butler to Cleveland. He admitted himself he had trades "teed up." In the end, though, Butler was shipped to the Minnesota Timberwolves on draft day and Irving was dealt to the Boston Celtics at the end of August.

Irving has been thriving with his new team, which sits atop the NBA standings at 12-2. The explosive guard is averaging 20.3 points, 5.2 assists, 3.1 rebounds, and 1.9 steals over 13 games this season.

He missed the last game after suffering a minor facial fracture, and will return Tuesday night against the Brooklyn Nets while donning a mask.