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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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Celtics and Sixers may go relatively unchanged this offseason, as stars have gone elsewhere

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USA Today Sports Images

Celtics and Sixers may go relatively unchanged this offseason, as stars have gone elsewhere

The 2018 NBA offseason in just three weeks has become one of the wildest summers in the league's history between LeBron James signing with the Lakers, and all the characters that followed him, to DeMarcus Cousins surprising everyone to sign with the Golden State Warriors, to Kawhi Leonard getting traded to the Raptors.

As crazy as it all has been, two teams in the Eastern Conference stand out for so far doing very little, either by choice or circumstance. The Celtics and Sixers, the two teams most see as the favorites in the East, appear at least so far to be running it back with the same group of players.

This appears to be the Celtics' intention. After overhauling their roster last summer, they clearly see an opportunity to take a step forward as-is. Boston was one win away from the NBA Finals and will return Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving from injury. With James gone to the West, they can improve significanly just by keeping it all together.

Boston re-signed Marcus Smart and Aron Baynes. Their biggest addition this summer so far has been their first round pick, Robert Williams.

The Sixers, unlike the Celtics, didn't appear to plan on doing it this way. They wanted James and missed out. They reportedly had interest in Paul George and Kawhi Leonard, but both went elsewhere. There are no stars left to sign in free agency and the trade market may be drying up.

Philly made some minor moves like trades for Wilson Chandler and Mike Muscala. They may also have a deal for Kyle Korver in the works. They also had two first round picks in Zhaire Smith and Landry Shamet.

There's a chance the Sixers got better than people think, as many of the moves they made seem smart. But they didn't reel in a big fish and will probably come back for the 2018-19 season with a team very similar to the one that made the second round of the playoffs this spring.

The fact the Celtics and Sixers may stand pat is probably a good thing for the rest of the East. Both teams may improve naturally if they are healthier and if their young players continue to ascend. But neither made a game-changing addition, one that would solidify either as an unstoppable superteam in the conference. 

The West is overloaded with title contenders and All-NBA players. The East, meanwhile, is much more open and it may end up staying that way mainly because Boston and Philly have been quiet so far this summer.

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Wizards set introductory press conference for Dwight Howard

Wizards set introductory press conference for Dwight Howard

Wizards team president Ernie Grunfeld has stayed relatively busy this summer crafting his new-look lineup for the 2018-19 season. 

One of the team's key additions, Dwight Howard, is set to be introduced as a member of the Wizards on Monday. 

NBC Sports Washington will air the introductory press conference live at 1 p.m. while also streaming it online.  

Ernie Grunfeld and head coach Scott Brooks are both expected to be in attendance. 

The 32-year-old big man is coming off a 2017-18 season with the Charlotte Hornets in which he averaged 16.6 points and 12.5 rebounds per game. 

Since leaving the Orlando Magic after eight seasons in 2011, Howard has played for four different teams in the last six years. 

Howard is an eight-time all-star and a three-time defensive player of the year. 

 

RELATED LINKS: 

John Wall's take on Dwight Howard 

Wizards make Dwight Howard free agent signing official 

By the numbers: Is new Wizards center Dwight Howard still in his NBA prime?