Kyrie Irving‘s reported trade request, which came to light earlier this week, was a surprise to many around the league. Irving is coming off three consecutive NBA Finals appearances and is playing alongside an all-time great in LeBron James.
But to Chauncey Billups, who interviewed for the Cavs’ top front office post around the time of June’s draft, it didn’t catch him off guard.
“No. It didn’t really surprise me. Obviously, I knew.” Billups said on Altitude 950 on the Vic Lombardi Show when asked about Irving’s request. “As they were doing their due diligence on me, I was doing the same thing. I knew so much about the situation that the rest of the world doesn’t know. But that’s unfortunate. He’s a special talent and in my opinion, so much of what he’s been able to accomplish on and off the floor has been a beneficiary of having LeBron James.”
Billups says he didn’t consult with James when interviewing with Cleveland and his impending free agency wasn’t a factor in his decision not to take the job. It had more to do, he said, with a belief the Cavs didn’t have the assets for a strong rebuild.
For now, Billups is comfortable with his situation. He’s happy with his current analyst job and remains interested in future front office openings if they surface.
“I don’t need the job,” Billups said. “I love my life. I love this ESPN thing. It’s been fun. I’ll just wait until it feels right.”
For Irving, teams will likely line up for his services in the coming weeks. Irving reportedly listed Minnesota, New York, Miami and San Antonio as his preferred destinations.