David Griffin

Former Cavs GM defends Kyrie Irving's trade request: 'LeBron casts...'

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AP

Former Cavs GM defends Kyrie Irving's trade request: 'LeBron casts...'

On Monday, June 19, the Cavaliers and GM David Griffin "mutally" agreed to part ways.

On Monday, August 6, Cleveland's former general manager appeared on ESPN's "The Jump."

Naturally, the conversation began with a discussion surrounding Kyrie Irving.

"I think Kyrie is going to end up getting traded," Griffin said. "But I think what Ron was saying is really unfair to Kyrie. I don't think this is youth and ignorance. This is a guy who handled the situation exactly like he was supposed to.

"He went to Dan Gilbert privately, told him that he thought he would be happier somewhere else. The absolute worst thing this guy could have done was pretend to be all-in, and sink the ship from within.

"Most guys don't have the courage to do what he did. So that's not youth and ignorance. That's a little bit more courage than people give him credit for."

Who is Ron?

That would be former NBA player Ron Harper, who had some strong words for Kyrie and his trade request.

"Youth. Ignorance ... the inmates are in charge. So when the inmates are in charge, nothing but bad things can happen, right?" Harper told Marla Ridenour of the Akron Beacon Journal. "You’re never going to be a guy who carries your team. You see when LeBron doesn’t play, you don’t carry the team.”

Irving -- the No. 1 pick in the 2011 draft -- is a four-time All-Star and was named All-NBA Third-Team in 2014-15.

He will turn 26 years old in March.

"I see this as him looking for a fit for himself now to take the next step in his career," Griffin explained. "This is a guy who wants to know how good he can be.

"LeBron casts a very large shadow over an organization -- and most of it is really, really positive. You know you're expected to win a championship, but what that doesn't always allow is for a player like Kyrie to test his boundaries a little bit and see how good he can really be."

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders and a Web Producer at NBC Sports Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller