This Was Kyrie Irving’s Reaction to the Cavaliers’ Massive Roster Overhaul

Most people expected the Cavaliers to shake things up at the NBA trade deadline on Thursday and make one or two moves to improve their roster as they prepare to head into the second half of the 2017-18 NBA season. But most people didn’t expect them to go as far as they did.

Just hours before the trade deadline, the Cavaliers orchestrated a series of moves that saw them trade away Isaiah Thomas, Dwyane Wade, Channing Frye, Iman Shumpert, Derrick Rose, and Jae Crowder—in addition to a couple draft picks—in exchange for Jordan Clarkson, Larry Nance, George Hill, and Rodney Hood. Cleveland will have a completely different lineup when they take the court to play against the Hawks on Friday night, and they’re hoping it will help them get out of the rut they’ve been stuck in for most of the last month.

In the aftermath of all the action involving the Cavaliers at the trade deadline, there were quite a few people who wondered what Kyrie Irving’s reaction to the whole thing must have been. The Cavaliers essentially parted way with the two players (Thomas and Crowder) they got in exchange for him last summer. They also looked like a team desperate to improve their current situation in a hurry. So many speculated about what Irving’s response to the whole thing would be and used memes to make their best guesses.

But what was Irving’s real reaction? As it turns out, a whole lot less exciting than the memes might have suggested. On Thursday night, Irving scored 28 points, grabbed 5 rebounds, and dished out 6 assists in a 110-104 Celtics’ overtime win over the Wizards.

And after the game, he was asked to provide a response to the trades the Cavaliers pulled off earlier in the day. Irving took a few seconds to collect his thoughts and looked like he might have something to say about them. But then, he hit reporters with a slight shrug before matter-of-factly saying, “I’m in Boston.”

We doubt those are Irving’s only thoughts on the situation. But for now, that’s the only reaction he has. Stay tuned to see if he has more to say after LeBron James and the Cavaliers play Irving and the Celtics on Sunday afternoon.

More from Complex

Isaiah Thomas Trade; Gronk Going Hollywood?; Special Guest Kenyon Martin | Out of Bounds

On today’s show, special guest Kenyon Martin joins Gil and the #OutofBounds gang to talk the day’s biggest sports stories. The convo kicks off with the looming NBA trade deadline and how trades affect team chemistry. Next, the crew discusses the three-year extension Sixth Man of the Year candidate Lou Williams just signed with the Clippers. Did he sell himself short in seeking stability and security? With late breaking news that the Cavs are trading Isaiah Thomas, Channing Frye, and their protected first-round pick in 2018 to the Lakers for Larry Nance, Jr. and Jordan Clarkson, our “In Play” look at Cleveland’s big nationally-televised Sunday matchup in Boston — when the Celtics will retire Paul Pierce’s jersey — is extra spicy. Adam and Pierce break down the impact that the trade will have on both teams, as well as how it will affect the big game. Finally, following a report that Rob Gronkowski could retire from football to become a Hollywood action star, the team weighs in on how good he’d be, and also makes picks for athletes who would be great flexing muscles on the big screen.

More from Complex

The Cavaliers and Lakers Just Pulled Off a Blockbuster Trade Involving Isaiah Thomas

Things never seemed quite right with Isaiah Thomas in Cleveland. Now, less than six months after the Cavaliers acquired Thomas in a massive deal with the Boston Celtics for Kyrie Irving, Cleveland has flipped the veteran guard in another blockbuster trade.

News of the trade broke Thursday on Twitter, with ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski sharing details of the swap.

ESPN's Ramona Shelburne added that the Lakers plan to hold on to both former Cavaliers players.

All we can say is: WOW. We're sure there's much more to come on this deal.

The bottom line is, the Cavs had to make a move of some kind. Things were falling apart, and they're intent on making a fourth-straight NBA Finals run in what could be LeBron James' final season in The Land. It's likely LeBron had some type of say in this deal.

It will be fascinating to see how this move affects Cleveland's on- and off-court success in the second half of the NBA season. The Cavs are currently in third in the East, behind the Celtics and Raptors.

More from Complex

LeBron James Addresses Trade Rumors Following Disheartening Loss to Magic

The Cavaliers’ 2017-18 NBA season is in a tailspin. For whatever reason, Cleveland just can’t string together a series of wins and get themselves back on track right now. But have things gotten so bad that LeBron James would waive his no-trade clause and voluntarily allow the team to send him packing prior to the NBA trade deadline on Thursday?

Believe it or not, that was actually a source of speculation on Tuesday, as Yahoo! Sports reporter Shams Charania reported there were some NBA teams doing their “due diligence” and watching to see if LeBron would potentially waive the no-trade clause he has in his contract. There are more than a few teams who would obviously be willing to mortgage their franchise’s future for a chance to land LeBron in a deal. And even though Charania reported LeBron was unlikely to let the Cavaliers trade him, it didn’t stop some people from gossiping about what might happen if LeBron did away with his no-trade clause.

The gossiping got a little bit louder on Tuesday night after the Cavaliers went out and blew a 21-point lead to the Magic to lose 116-98. The Magic have the worst record in the Eastern Conference, so the loss was particularly stunning for the skidding Cavaliers. But despite his team’s struggles, LeBron faced the latest report about his no-trade clause head-on and said he is not planning on going anywhere before the trade deadline. He insisted he will remain a Cavalier for at least the remainder of this season.

“I’m here for the long haul,” LeBron said. “I’m here for this season right now, [to] try to figure out ways we can still compete. I couldn’t give up on my teammates like that. I couldn’t do that. I just couldn’t do it. We put too much into the game every single day. We go out and prepare. Win, lose, or draw, at the end of the day, we’re all brothers, and we understand that. I owe it to my teammates to finish this season out no matter how it ends up. I would never waive my no-trade clause.”

LeBron was clearly trying to keep his spirits up following another tough loss, but some of his teammates were having trouble doing the same. One Cavaliers player told ESPN.com the team hit “a new low” during their game against the Magic. Isaiah Thomas, meanwhile, tried to explain the Cavaliers’ troubles by suggesting they’re not demonstrating the brotherhood LeBron talked about while speaking with reporters.

“Right now, when we hit adversity, we go our separate ways,” Thomas said. “And that’s just how I feel, and it looks like that as well. Guys start to go one-on-one on offense, and the defense is every man for himself. The first half we played good, everybody was happy. It was energized, helping each other on the defensive end. Sharing the ball. The ball was moving side to side on offense. And then we revert back to what makes us lose games.”

The somewhat amazing thing about all of this is that, despite the Cavaliers’ inability to win many ballgames at the top of 2018, Cleveland is still sitting in third in the Eastern Conference. So they’re just one hot streak away from putting themselves right back into prime position in the East. But the fact that we’ve reached the point where the idea of LeBron waiving his no-trade clause doesn’t sound that crazy should tell you everything you need to know about where the Cavaliers are at the moment. They need to figure out a way to turn things around quickly—or LeBron’s days in Cleveland could really be numbered.

More from Complex

LeBron to the Lakers This Summer? Not So Fast, According to a New Report

Folks around the NBA have murmured for more than a year now about LeBron James' purported interest in bolting to Los Angeles when he has the opportunity to opt out of his contract during the 2018 offseason. Would he really leave his hometown team twice in his career? That remains to be seen. But people around the league have suspected as much—and suspected that he's headed for Los Angeles—for a long time now.

LeBron owns two houses in L.A., and conquering the West would provide him with a new challenge—a new potential legacy boost, if you will. Also, the Lakers have a wealth of cap space, a promising young roster, and a storied history. If he could bring them back to prominence, well, it would do a ton for LeBron's place in the history books. Of the two L.A. franchises, it seemed way likelier that LeBron would desire a spot on the roster of the Lake Show.

According to a new report from two of the most plugged-in NBA reporters, however, the Lakers may pass on pursuing LeBron this offseason. As Adrian Wojnarowski and Ramona Shelburne of ESPN report, the Lakers are focusing their efforts—and their cap space—on the free-agent class of 2019 rather than that of 2018. The 2019 class is indeed ripe with young talent; Kawhi Leonard, Klay Thompson, and Jimmy Butler could be among the players on the market.

In 2018, it's expected that LeBron, Paul George, and DeMarcus Cousins will be available. But LeBron, as great as he is, is 33, George seems very interested in sticking with the Thunder, and Cousins just suffered an absolutely debilitating Achilles injury.

This recalibration also reportedly stems from the Lakers' lack of belief that LeBron is actually interested in joining the team. Though L.A. has a bunch of gifted young players—including Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, and Kyle Kuzma—there isn't a bona fide star on the roster. LBJ would be taking a big risk by signing with the yellow and purple.

A lot could change in the next few months, of course. The Lakers are still reportedly shopping Julius Randle and Jordan Clarkson. But with this latest report, it looks a lot less certain that LeBron will head to Hollywood this summer.

More from Complex

High School Ballers Are Putting LaVar Ball on Blast for Trying to Slide Into DMs to Recruit for Pro League

In late December, LaVar Ball made a stunning announcement. Just weeks after pulling his son LiAngelo out of UCLA and saying he planned on preparing him for the NBA himself, the Ball family patriarch revealed he is going to start his own league called the Junior Basketball Association for those players who don’t want to take part in NCAA basketball.

At the time, Ball said he thought it would be “easy” to convince kids to play in the JBA. The plan was to give all players a salary of somewhere between $3,000 and $10,000 and have them play in major cities like New York, Los Angeles, and Atlanta.

But it sounds like Ball has run into some trouble recruiting prospects to play in the league. According to high school and college basketball recruiting site Tipton Edits, Ball has used social media DMs to contact about 80 high school players to gauge their interest in playing in the JBA. But all of the top recruits have reportedly turned him down, and two, in particular, have put him on blast for his method of going about recruiting.

Tyler Herro, who hails from Wisconsin and is slated to attend Kentucky next season, is one of the players who was contacted by Ball. He shared a screenshot of the message he received from Big Baller Brand before revealing he declined the offer.

Jalen Carey, a guard from New Jersey who will attend Syracuse next season, was also approached by Ball about joining the JBA. He, too, declined the offer he received and shared a screenshot of it on Snapchat.

In fairness to Ball, trying to contact potential JBA recruits through DMs is probably the most efficient way for him to do it at this time since he’s spent most of the last month in Lithuania with LiAngelo and his youngest son LaMelo. But as SB Nation pointed out, he’s getting a whole bunch of rejections from players right now, so it’s probably time for him to switch up his method. Otherwise, the JBA might disappear just as quickly as it initially popped up.

More from Complex

Does Steve Kerr Have a Trash-Talking Burner Twitter, Kevin Durant Style?

Back in September, Kevin Durant got exposed for using secret “burner” social media accounts to defend himself in online arguments. He later admitted he felt “idiotic” for using them, and it was widely considered to be one of the biggest social media fails in the sports world in 2017.

With that in mind, you wouldn’t think KD’s own head coach would resort to using a burner Twitter to comment on opposing players, but that’s what some people are accusing Steve Kerr of doing. He tweeted and deleted a shot at James Harden and some NBA referees on Thursday night, and while he may have simply thought better of the tweet after sending it, many are now wondering if Kerr didn’t mean to send the tweet from a different account in the first place.

It all started when the official NBA Twitter account tweeted about Harden just after 10 p.m. ET on Thursday. It featured Harden taking and making a step-back three-pointer against the Spurs during the Rockets’ 102-91 victory over San Antonio.

A short time later, Kerr saw the NBA tweet and had something to say about it. On his official account he suggested Harden traveled on the play. He said it was “an embarrassment” Harden wasn’t whistled for a walk.

The tweet didn’t stay up long. But plenty of people were able to get a screenshot before it disappeared, and they wondered why in the world Kerr would take aim at Harden and the refs like that. Some concluded Kerr simply got caught up in the moment before deciding against leaving the tweet up. But more than a few people suggested Kerr may have meant to send it from a burner account, just like KD.

Kerr hasn’t spoken publicly about any of this yet. But it’ll be interesting to see what he has to say. If he meant to send the Harden tweet from his account, most of the Rockets players are probably going to have the same reaction Chris Paul had to something Kerr said to him during a recent game.

And if Kerr meant to send out the tweet from some secret account he uses, he's likely to get clowned the same way KD did. Either way, we wouldn’t expect Harden and the Rockets to forget about what Kerr said anytime soon.

More from Complex

Lou Williams Talks About Breaking Up With 1 of His 2 Girlfriends

When you hear the name Lou Williams, what’s one of the first things that comes to mind? Despite the stellar NBA career he’s put together since first entering the league back in 2005, it’s probably not his 12.8 points per game career scoring average. It’s also probably not the fact that he’s spent time playing for the 76ers, Hawks, Raptors, Lakers, Rockets, and, most recently, Clippers. Even Williams’ Sixth Man of the Year award in 2015 is probably an afterthought for most people.

Instead, the first thing most people think about when they hear Williams’ name is that, back in 2014, a Baller Alert report revealed he was openly dating two women at the same time. Drake also mentioned Williams’ unorthodox dating situation on his song, “6 God.” Williams had two girlfriends named Ashley Henderson and Rece Mitchell—or “Blonde” and “Brown,” as he often referred to them on social media—and from the sounds of things, the women were both fine with the arrangement with Williams.

This led more than a few NBA fans to christen Williams “the real MVP.”

Even J.R. Smith was blown away by the dating setup Williams had with the two women.

Unfortunately, we have some very sad news to share. In recent weeks, as Williams has dealt with being at the center of trade rumors and being snubbed for this year’s NBA All-Star Game despite playing some of the best basketball of his career, people have wondered about the status of his relationship. In fact, if you search “Lou Williams girlfriends” on Twitter, you’ll find that people haven’t stopped talking about the Lou-Will x Blonde x Brown dynamic since it became public knowledge more than three years ago. People are still fascinated by it.

But it sounds like Williams is no longer running the triangle offense with Henderson and Mitchell. Sports Illustrated reporter Lee Jenkins profiled Williams for the latest issue of the magazine and asked him about how things are going with his two girlfriends. Williams responded by revealing that, while he’s still dating Rece, he is no longer cozying up with Ashley at the same time. Williams said he's still friendly with Ashley, but for reasons he didn’t get into while speaking with Jenkins, the trio has turned into a duo.

 

1of1

A post shared by Lou Williams (@louwillville) on

At least, that’s what we think. Who knows? Maybe Ashley has been replaced with a new woman. Williams didn’t elaborate. But he did say that he still gets asked about having two girlfriends regularly. He also talked about how—news flash—he isn’t the first NBA player to openly date two women who are OK with it at the same time.

“I hear about it every day,” Williams told Jenkins. “Every single day. More players do that than you know. I was just the first person to have it mentioned on a song.”

You can go here to read the rest of Jenkins’ excellent piece on Williams.

More from Complex

LeBron James to the Warriors? Wild New Report Suggests It Could Happen This Summer

Does the idea of LeBron James leaving the Cavaliers to sign with the Warriors this summer sound laughable to you? You’re not alone. There are a lot of people scoffing at the idea at the moment.

But very early Thursday morning, just hours after LeBron and the Cavaliers closed out their dreadful January with a close win over the Heat, ESPN’s Chris Haynes set NBA Twitter on fire with an explosive report about how LeBron would apparently entertain the idea of signing with Golden State in July, if the Warriors are able to free up enough money to offer him a max contract.

According to league sources who spoke with Haynes, the Warriors could position themselves to secure a free agency meeting with LeBron “if [they] can create a max salary slot this offseason.” The report went on to say that the Warriors haven’t shown any real desire to actually do that. But it also mentioned that the sources who spoke with Haynes said LeBron wouldn’t rule out the possibility of playing alongside Steph Curry and Kevin Durant in California “if Golden State explored ways to clear the necessary cap space.”

In order to pull off the seemingly impossible, the Warriors would likely need to get creative. In Haynes’ report, he suggests they would probably have to entice the Cavaliers to agree to a sign-and-trade deal involving Klay Thompson and Andre Iguodala in order to land LeBron. And that in and of itself seems like a long shot.

But regardless of how improbable the LeBron-to-the-Warriors rumor Haynes just started might sound, it definitely has people talking. There are some imagining what the Warriors could potentially look like with LeBron on the team.

There are others downplaying the report and saying it will never happen.

We tend to side with the second group of people here. LeBron leaving the Cavaliers for a second time and doing it to team up with the Warriors just sounds too crazy to believe.

But we should point out that, once upon a time, the idea of Durant leaving the Thunder to join the Warriors sounded just as crazy. In fact, we just went back and took a look at our very first post hinting at the possibility of KD one day joining the Warriors, which went up all the way back in July 2015. It was tied to a San Jose Mercury News story about how a source said Golden State would “love” to land KD in the summer of 2016. The very first comment on that post was “trash post with a shit source”—and look at how that eventually turned out.

In the end, we just can’t see LeBron playing with the Warriors next season. But who knows? With all of the crazy things that have happened in the NBA over the last few years, it’s hard to rule out anything anymore.

More from Complex

Harden Breaking Records; All-Star Injuries; LeBron on Loyalty; Tom Brady’s Playlist | Out of Bounds

It was a huge day in the NBA yesterday and the #OutofBounds crew is here for all of it. All-Stars Kevin Love and John Wall are going to be out for nearly two months with injuries. Gil and the gang discuss the impact on the players, their teams, the playoff races, and why the system to replace them in the All-Star Game is f*cked up. For this week's In Play segment, OOB takes a closer look at Saturday's Rockets-Cavs primetime matchup, which could get ugly, given Cleveland's league-worst defensive rating and James Harden going off last night for the first 60-point triple-double in NBA history. From there, the team talks loyalty in sports, after LeBron James used the Clippers' Blake Griffin trade to call out a double standard for teams and players. To wrap things up, everyone weighs in on the music Tom Brady says he listens to when trying to center himself and what it says about the five-time Super Bowl champ.

More from Complex