Cracking an NBA lineup can be difficult for even the most talented rookies.
Denzel Valentine entered the league as the 14th overall pick by the Bulls in the 2016 draft, but he has found playing time hard to come by behind Chicago’s bevy of experienced guards.
The former Michigan State star was somewhat of a surprise lottery pick after playing with the Spartans all four years and suffering some knee injuries later in his college career.
Questions about his speed and athleticism arose during the draft workouts, but Chicago’s Fred Hoiberg spotted something he liked in the senior leader, who became one of Tom Izzo’s all-time favorite players.
“There was several scenarios discussed at that time,” Gilbert said in reference to Irving’s meeting with Cavs brass a few weeks ago. “I don’t feel it’s appropriate to really get into the details of all those scenarios, and again, I don’t know the sources of the report that there was a trade request made, I read it in the media like some of you reported and some of you read, but we talked about widely the possibilities of the future at that time, we had not assigned Koby yet as general manager, and there were a few other moves I believe that were made at that time, so these things are fluid.”
They may be fluid, but they also appear to be true. Gilbert would go on to confirm later that the Pacers tried to deal Paul George to the Cavaliers but that they, “could have done better.”
Altman went on to say what any GM on his introduction to the media would say: Irving is a core part of the team and he is an outstanding player.
It is going to be tough to trade Irving no matter what. The Cavs would have to get a huge haul back for the All-Star and Irving wants to go to a contender and contenders are not likely to give up assets that would hamper their future, so it’s a bit of a catch-22.