Amico: Cavs still engaging Suns, others

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More random dribbles on Kyrie Irving and the Cleveland Cavaliers, as the whole ordeal marches on:

1. As Amico Hoops reported earlier in the week, the Cavs have been in talks with no less than seven teams about Irving, and ESPN reported Friday that number may have reached 20.

2. One of the most-mentioned teams involved in the Cavs talks -- the Phoenix Suns. And the Cavs and Suns are indeed talking, and it appears to be a lot. But like most of these discussions, new GM Koby Altman and the Cavs are just sort of feeling their way around at the moment. Nothing has come close and no parameters for a deal have emerged. It's all been very exploratory.

3. Anything involving Suns rookie forward Josh Jackson apparently is off the table for now, but could be brought back. The Suns aren't dead-set against dealing Jackson in a deal for a proven and dazzling player like Irving -- who would undoubtedly put fans in the Phoenix seats. But the Suns are deflecting Jackson overtures at the moment.

4. Without a doubt, though, Suns guard Eric Bledsoe would be moved in any deal involving Irving.

5. An interesting sidebar to all of this is the fact James Jones was just hired as the Suns' vice president of basketball operations, working under GM Ryan McDonough. Jones, of course, is tight with LeBron James. So would Jones encourage trading for a guy (Irving) who apparently has issues with LeBron?

6. Given Irving's level of talent, I bet the answer is yes -- and that Jones would refrain from trying to sabotage an Irving trade.

7. Plus, Jones isn't really the type of person to get in the middle of things anyway. He's always been a pro's pro, a highly intellectual person and problem-solver. The Cavs will definitely miss his maturity and guidance in the locker room, because he's truly one of a kind.

8. Anyway, back to Irving. Minnesota and Miami, as reported by multiple outlets, probably round out the top three when it comes to teams apparently most serious about a deal. But a few executives around the league have said it's hard to envision the Cavs trading Irving to the Heat without getting back center Hassan Whiteside as part of the deal.

9. ESPN's report that the Heat are floating point guard Goran Dragic and swingman Justise Winslow was shot down by another reporter -- but the ESPN report appears to be true. The Cavs shied away from a Dragic-Winslow proposal, according to a source, so the Heat are trying to make it look like they never put the offer out there. "But they have," one league executive said. "And now they're covering their butts because they don't want (Dragic or Winslow) to get pissed."

10. Moral of the story: Irving isn't headed to the Heat for Dragic and Winslow.

11. James has indeed been involved in the process, communicating via calls and texts and just trying to figure out how to help improve the roster. One league source said in all of LeBron's offseasons of recruiting help to Cleveland and Miami, this may be his most intense. Even Altman admitted earlier this week that James has been "a magnet."

12. Most opposing executives, some of whom are involved in the Irving talks, think this could go on a while. You don't trade a player with Irving's talent in a day. Or even a few weeks. The goal, said one, is to just find the best deal before training camp, and that's still two months away.