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Cavaliers Reportedly Eyeing A Young Star For Kyrie Irving -- Including Jayson Tatum

By Matthew Geagan, CBS Boston

BOSTON (CBS) -- It's time for your weekly Kyrie Irving trade update.

According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, the Cavaliers have a plan in place to deal their star point guard, and it isn't to help build around LeBron James. With the great unknown surrounding James' future in Cleveland, the Cavaliers would like a young star back in any deal for Kyrie Irving -- a potential building block if (when) James takes his talents to Los Angeles next summer.

As we well know, there is a certain team in the Eastern Conference who can fulfill those requirements. While the Boston Celtics haven't officially made an offer for Irving, they remain in discussion with the Cavaliers, according to the Boston Globe's Adam Himmelsbach.

While the bulk of the trade rumors surrounding the Celtics and Cavaliers over the last few months have included talk of Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder and a future first-round pick in a deal of Irving, Wojnarowski threw an interesting tidbit into his article on Tuesday:

The Cavaliers find themselves far more fixated on a young star, including New York's Kristaps Porzingis, Boston's Jayson Tatum, Phoenix's Josh Jackson and Denver's Jamal Murray, league sources told ESPN.

Boston has expressed interest in Irving and could offer the best combination of short-term (Isaiah Thomas and Jae Crowder) and long-term (Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, picks) assets. The Celtics have made no formal offer, and it is against Boston's front-office DNA to push out front with the most generous offer. Boston knows that Cleveland is mostly intrigued with Tatum, but the sides have not formally discussed that deal, league sources said.

It's easy to understand why Cleveland is high on Tatum, a 19-year-old with an offensive game that appears ready for the NBA spotlight. They probably see the same attributes Ainge fell in love with ahead of the draft, leading the C's president of basketball ops. to trade the No. 1 overall pick to Philadelphia and snag another future asset while still getting Tatum with the third-overall selection (he would have taken Tatum first overall, but Ainge would never pass up a chance to get another future asset).

But if the Cavaliers bring up Tatum's name, chances are Ainge will hang up the phone and enjoy a hearty chuckle.

Irving is a great offensive player, and even if he believes the earth is flat teams should be lining up to bring him in -- at the right price. Cleveland can make their demands, but the fact of the matter is their backs are against a wall with Irving airing out his trade request to the public.

Ainge is notoriously stingy when it comes to making the best offer or upping the ante, and he's probably not going to give up a promising building block in Tatum in any deal, especially one that also includes Thomas and Crowder. Tatum is under team control for the next four seasons and will make roughly a third of what Irving will make over the next three seasons (Irving is signed for two more years with a player option for the 2019-20 season).

Ainge will continue to monitor the situation, and if the asking price goes down he and the Celtics are in a great position to strike and snag Irving from the team they're chasing in the East. But it will be at their price, and don't expect Tatum or Jaylen Brown to be a part of it.

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