• The summer is almost over and the fireworks have ceased (for now). Players have tentatively found their new homes for the 2017-18 season, but that doesn’t mean the planning stops.


    Unless you were living under a rock, All-NBA point guard Kyrie Irving made it well-known that he would like a trade from the Cavs, news that rung in the ears of the NBA. Each and every fan base has now dreamt up scenarios in which Kyrie can be their franchise cornerstone. Most of it is wishful thinking, but we found out yesterday that the Cavs have at least put a price tag on Kyrie, requesting Andrew Wiggins plus more from the Wolves. The Cavs are asking for a lot and rightfully so (Kyrie is still locked under contract for two years), but the Cavs drama has gained leverage for potential suitors.

    As much as the media wants to make this about beef between Kyrie and LeBron James, the truth is Kyrie has won a ring with James and before James has a shot to bolt in the summer of 2018, Kyrie would liked to control his own fate, much like James has in the past. The era was one of three straight NBA Finals, including a historic upset in 2016 that led to a championship. After striking out on any superstar this offseason, the Cavs are not likely to be headed for a championship in 2018 so it makes sense to hit the reset button. They can just leave it at that.


    While the Kyrie sweepstakes are in full force, the drama surrounding Carmelo Anthony in New York has hit a standstill. With Kyrie possibly leaving Cleveland, Melo has made it clear that he only wants to play in Houston with Chris Paul and James Harden, but the Knicks have had a hard time finding a deal that makes sense for their future. The season could get awkward if these superstars stick with their shunned franchises. You got to love it.

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    Every team is jockeying to position themselves for a franchise changing free agency next summer, one that includes potential names such as LeBron James, Russell Westbrook, Paul George and DeMarcus Cousins. The Lakers are vying for a way to bring their storied franchise back into basketball prominence, and they have a great shot at landing a superstar or two, as George has been vocal about his Laker love and Westbrook has ties to the area. Given the storied history of the franchise, it would make sense that LBJ would sign up to contribute as well. In order to accommodate, the Lakers must clear as much cap space as possible.

    A private source from within the Lakers organization told Bleacher Report that the team is confident they can move Jordan Clarkson to clear up cap space for the summer of 2018. If the Lakers shed Clarkson, they will have roughly $60 million in space next summer, which isn’t enough for two max deals, but it’s a start.

    Losing Luol Deng (3 years, $54 million) and Julius Randle (2 years, $9.5 million), along with Clarkson, would give the Lakers about $76 million to spend. That’s plenty for two max deals for superstars, with some leftover.

    One can dream, but that Lakers seem head-over-heels for this plan. With Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram developing, this franchise is in good shape to return to it’s historic prominence.

    That’ll do it for Wednesday’s Daily Dish, offseason edition! As always, be sure to follow me on Twitter, I’m @RiazD. Don’t forget to follow all of our breaking news and rumors @HoopBallTweets. Enjoy the last days of summer!!

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