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Kyrie Irving
Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Kyrie Irving
Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

It’s difficult to gauge where Kyrie Irving is mentally right now but the Cleveland Cavaliers point guard averaging 21.3 points and 6.3 assists per game has a very murky future.

Whether it’s due to speculation about the locker room situation or theories about his future, Irving has taken to Twitter and subsequent interviews to express his frustration with his current role: the subject of rumors. The Cavaliers have a club option on whether or not to keep Irving after the 2014-15 season, and there are some indications the team will attempt to extend his deal this offseason, but there some doubt Irving’s career will continue in Cleveland.

According to NBA.com Chicago Bulls reporter Sam Smith, some team executives believe Irving will re-sign with Cleveland to get financial security. After he signs, he can again reach free agency in four or five years when he turns 26 or 27 and earn a second payday.

But if Irving informs the Cavaliers he does not want to remain with the Cavaliers, the team can try and dangle the All-Star point guard in exchange for a high pick in June’s draft. Smith names the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics as potential landing spots.

Here’s the rationale:

The Lakers are expected to clean house after this season, and Irving could be the player they build a new roster around. Instead of taking a chance on rookies, the Lakers — who have a plethora of draft picks — can assemble a trade package to acquire Irving.

The Celtics are in the process of rebuilding, and Rajon Rondo — the subject of numerous trade rumors over the winter — is a free agent after next season. Boston can put together a package including Rondo and a draft pick in order to acquire Irving.

Irving’s frustration with his future being so discussed stems from a response ESPN writer Brian Windhorst, who previously covered the Cavs for the Akron Beacon Journal and the Plain Dealer.

Asked by Cavs The Blog about Irving being happy in Cleveland after a reported rift between Irving and Dion Waiters, Windhorst said “Kyrie’s camp” has long stated the guard wants out of Cleveland.

The truth is [Kyrie’s] camp has been putting out there for years – years – that he doesn’t want to be in Cleveland. That they don’t want him in Cleveland. He doesn’t like Mike Brown. He didn’t like Chris Grant. He doesn’t like Dion Waiters. He’s already gotten a General Manager fired. He might get Mike Brown fired. This is the last time – once he signs he loses all of his leverage – so this is the last time he gets to enact leverage. I know he’s said all the right things so, fine, on July 1, when they offer a max contract – which they will – and I don’t even know if he’s a max player, but you have to sign him – sign a five year, no out. That’s what a max contract is. A max contract is five years, no out. If you want out or you want three years, that’s not a max contract. You want three years? Okay, we’ll give you $12 million a year. We’re not giving you the full thing.

For now, asking Irving about whether he plans to remain in Cleveland or speculating about his plans after the season is a mistake.

In an interview with the News Observer, Irving said he believes his future in under too much speculation and negative publicity.

“For a third-year player, it’s been frustrating,” Irving said. “No other third-year player is probably going through what I’m going through right now, which has been the most frustrating part. It’s just gotten to a point where I needed to say something.”

Irving, unhappy about the comments made by Windhorst and the ensuing rumors, took to Twitter to deny the reports.