Marc J. Spears of ESPN's The Undefeated reported Wednesday that the Cleveland Cavaliers contacted the Golden State Warriors about a potential trade involving Kyrie Irving and Klay Thompson before sending Irving to the Boston Celtics.
Spears noted the Warriors weren't interested, which resulted in Cleveland dealing Irving to Boston for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and the Brooklyn Nets' unprotected 2018 first-round draft pick.
While Thompson tends to get overshadowed at times by teammates Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and Draymond Green, he is coming off his third consecutive All-Star season.
The 27-year-old averaged a career-high 22.3 points per game and shot an impressive 41.4 percent from beyond the arc.
Thompson has two years remaining on his contract before he can hit free agency, while Irving has two years left on his deal before a player option in 2019.
Although Thompson was highly productive during the regular season, his playoff statistics dropped off significantly.
In 17 postseason contests, Thompson averaged just 15.0 points per game and shot 39.7 percent from the field. That was a far cry from his 24.3 points per game during the 2015-16 playoffs.
By comparison, Irving averaged 25.2 points per game during the 2016-17 regular season and performed even better in the playoffs with an average of 25.9 points per contest.
Thompson is a pure shooting guard whereas Irving is a combo guard, and it can be argued that he wouldn't have been as strong of a fit alongside Curry.
The duo of LeBron James and Thompson could have done some significant damage in the Eastern Conference, but the Cavs still came away with a sizable haul in return for Irving that included an All-Star guard and what could conceivably be the No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 NBA draft.