Spurs reportedly tried hard to get Kyrie Irving

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Marcus Smart and Jayson Tatum added 15 points apiece, Jaylen Brown had 14 and Irving contributed 11 as the Celtics improved to an East-best 31-10 mark.

"They didn't want me there", he told ESPN.

Flash ahead to this morning and the Cavs have some issues to address, McMenamin writes - the foremost being how to parse through a big man rotation that includes Channing Frye, Kevin Love and (the now healthy) Tristan Thompson. The Cavs pursued the small forward through multiple avenues, almost acquiring him in a three-way deal with the Denver Nuggets that would've cost them Kevin Love. The Suns resisted, unwilling to part with their No. 4 pick, which they planned to use to draft Josh Jackson. But as these teams careen toward a playoffs rematch, James will be certain to say, and later try to prove, that they're no better off now that they have Irving than when they have Thomas.

The Boston Celtics defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers 102-88 in Boston on Wednesday. James' camp also represents Bledsoe, and there were rumors that a swap might happen later in the summer when Irving's trade request became public.

"That makes absolutely no sense", James told reporters.

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The San Antonio Spurs figure to be on the shortlist of National Basketball Association title contenders this season with Kawhi Leonard leading the way, but they reportedly attempted to add another game-changing superstar in Kyrie Irving during the offseason.

To be clear, Cleveland most certainly did not view the Celtics as much of a threat last season, even though Boston captured the No. 1 seed.

What they didn't know was Cleveland had explored trading Irving in June, long before he asked out, a fact conveniently omitted when word of his demand leaked.

Jae Crowder, who also went to the Cavaliers in the trade, is having his worst season in three years.

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