Bill Simmons’ Fantasy Kyrie Irving Trades Are More Fun Than the Real Thing

While Stephen A Smith and LeBron James bicker over who said what about Kyrie Irving, Bill Simmons is going to have some fun.

Irving’s reported desire for a trade away from the Cavaliers presents the opportunity for some great fantasy basketball. The list of suitors for Irving is long, and Cleveland’s return is going to be bountiful unless new General Manager Koby Altman seriously messes up.

That makes for some zany projections. Simmons’ “Fake Kyrie Trade of the Day” on Tuesday was a blockbuster, with the Cavaliers sending Irving to the Minnesota Timberwolves, who would trade Andrew Wiggins to the New Orleans Pelicans, who would send DeMarcus Cousins to the Wizards, with the Cavaliers getting the Wizards’ shooting guard Bradley Beal and a future first-round pick.

That would leave the Cavaliers out of pocket, according to ESPN’s trade predictor - down six wins while the Timberwolves could expect to win two more games than with its current roster.

Could there be a simpler way to use Wiggins as a makeweight if the Timberwolves are serious about acquiring Irving? “Well, if I’m Minnesota, Wiggins goes on the table for me in five seconds,” Simmons says on his podcast this week. “I don’t even blink. You and I agree that Wiggins is really overrated in a lot of ways. He’s just atrocious defensively, but I think offensively has a lot of potential and he’s young and he might mature into something really good. But the [Jeff] Teague contract to me is prohibitive because they wouldn’t be able to trade Teague until December.”

There are more delightful imaginings, like the Cavaliers and Celtics swapping Irving and Isaiah Thomas, with Jae Crowder and a future draft pick going to Cleveland as part of the deal. They even raise the prospect of the Rockets flipping Chris Paul for Irving.

There’s also a way to send DeMar DeRozan to the Cavaliers for Irving and someone like Channing Frye to balance up the salaries. There’s no way the Raptors or the Cavaliers go for that but then there’s almost certainly no way any of these deals happen. Amid the severity of the Irving trade and its ramifications, a little fantasy isn’t too much of an indulgence.