Kyrie Irving has privately told people that he's not happy playing for the Cleveland Cavaliers, ESPN's Chad Ford wrote in a weekly chat with fans (via Fear the Sword). Ford returned to the topic later on, reminding readers that his response was in context to the pressure on a Cavs' front office led by general manager Chris Grant to please their franchise point guard.
Simply put, Irving isn't happy with the situation -- a losing one -- and the Cavs will do almost anything to change that.
Grant is on the hot seat and could be gone by the end of the season if Cleveland, which is 16-29, doesn't turn it around. Owner Dan Gilbert knows that losing Irving would be another painful blow to the franchise after LeBron James left for Miami, and a front office change would reflect the effort to right things with the third-year point guard.
By winning, Cleveland can make Irving change his mind about sticking in Cleveland. They have leverage and some time to do so.
Irving is still on his rookie contract, which runs through next season. He'll be a restricted free agent and would be forced to sign either a long-term extension or a qualifying offer that would allow him to become an unrestricted free agent in 2016. As Ford points out, few players on rookie deals take that risk of non-guaranteed money.
Under the collective bargaining agreement, Irving would be giving up a much more lucrative contract by signing the qualifying offer. If he chose to re-sign with the Cavs, he could sign a five-year deal worth max money. If he eventually left as a free agent, he could not sign for more than four years.
Irving is averaging 21.5 points and 6.2 assists per game this season and will make his second All-Star appearance.