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Cavs looking to trade Kyrie Irving with LeBron James' exit in mind, report says

Cavs looking to trade Kyrie Irving with LeBron James' exit in mind, report says

If the Cavs are to trade Kyrie Irving, and at this point it seems like a near certainty, they will essentially have to choose between going all-in on 2017-18 or shoring up their long-term future in case LeBron James leaves next summer. According to a new report by ESPN, they are focusing on the latter.

Cleveland has been through this before, having lost James in free agency back in 2010 and they appear intent on making sure they are set up well for that scenario to happen again.

Read this from Adrian Wojnarowski:

As the Cleveland Cavaliers deliberate on deals to move All-Star guard Kyrie Irving, the franchise is operating under a self-prescribed mandate: presume a future without LeBron James.

The Cavs aren't giving up on the possibility of re-signing James next summer, but they are no longer investing blind faith in the hope he will stay.

The report goes on to link the Cavs to Kristaps Porzingis of the Knicks, Jayson Tatum of the Celtics, Josh Jackson of the Suns and Jamal Murray of the Nuggets. All four are young players on the rise who could help the Cavs rebuild after a potential James exit.

Porzingis is the best of that bunch and easily the most proven, but would likely be the hardest to pry away. Tatum and Jackson are intriguing, but have yet to play an NBA game. And Murray is very talented, but may not have the superstar potential the other three offer.

It's not an easy call for the Cavs, but deciding to go this route of focusing on the long-term should make their options more clear. And it could be a great thing for other teams in the Eastern Conference like the Wizards. The Cavs could be better suited down the road once James leaves, but in the short-term may be weakened by going younger.

[RELATED: Wizards' 2017-18 schedule, by the numbers]

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Bradley Beal loves Sixers' Joel Embiid's trash-talking, just don't try it on the Wizards

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USA Today Sports Images

Bradley Beal loves Sixers' Joel Embiid's trash-talking, just don't try it on the Wizards

There may not be another athlete, regardless of sport, that is as good at social media as Sixers center Joel Embiid. It's partly why he has become so popular among fans and media despite only having 31 NBA games under his belt.

It has apparently even earned him a nickname as the 'Social Media King.' 

Everyone seems to be laughing, expect Heat center Hassan Whiteside perhaps. Embiid and Whiteside have been in an on-court and off-court beef for a while now. Last year Embiid called Whiteside "BBQ chicken" after one matchup, suggesting he 'cooked' him. Whiteside also made headlines for suggesting Embiid's social media prowess earned him All-Star votes.

[RELATED: PODCAST - MEEKS ON WALL'S RECRUITING VISIT]

After a matchup between the two this preseason, Whiteside tweeted his team's record against Embiid's Sixers. So, Embiid fired back with a series of tweets, some of which were hilarious:

The Wizards host the Sixers for the regular season opener on Wednesday and, with Embiid's social media antics in the news, Bradley Beal was asked for his opinion after Monday's practice. He's amused.

"Jo-Jo is my boy. I like Jo-Jo. We have the same trainer and work out in the summers. That was crazy. That was really crazy. He was letting his feelings be known," Beal said. 

"But I like it, it keeps guys competitive. Same with Whiteside. I think that's what we need a little bit. I don't think there is necessarily going to be any fighting or any hands thrown or anything like that. It's a competition thing. Who is the better big and who is going to prove it?"

Beal enjoys Embiid's trash-talking from afar and considers him a friend. Just don't bring that stuff to D.C.

"When he plays us, we're going to try to shut him down as best as we can. We aren't trying to hear none of that talking and I'm gonna let him know about it, too," he said.

Markieff Morris may be out, but the Wizards have plenty of players who won't back down to trash-talking, Beal included.

[RELATED: HOW WILL WIZARDS GUARD BEN SIMMONS?]

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Wizards Tipoff podcast, Ep. 44 - Jodie Meeks on meshing with Wizards, John Wall's recruiting visit

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NBC Sports Washington

Wizards Tipoff podcast, Ep. 44 - Jodie Meeks on meshing with Wizards, John Wall's recruiting visit

On the latest episode of the Wizards Tipoff podcast presented by Greenberg and Bederman personal injury lawyers, Wizards shooting guard Jodie Meeks joined the show to talk about his first month with the Wizards.

Meeks was signed this offseason as a free agent, but already feels comfortable playing with Tim Frazier, John Wall and Bradley Beal. Speaking of Wall, Meeks recalled first meeting him and what it was like to host Wall on his recruiting visit at Kentucky.

After the Meeks interview, host Chase Hughes broke down why Carrick Felix made the final roster spot. Plus, an update on Markieff Morris and what the Wizards are planning to do with Mike Young and Devin Robinson.

You can listen to the episode right here:

You can download the podcast on Apple Podcasts right here and on Google Play. If you like the show please tell your friends!

[RELATED: 10 QUESTIONS WITH BRADLEY BEAL]