By Blake Hollingsworth
Unless you’ve lived under a rock, you might have heard that Kyrie Irving requested a trade from the Cavaliers. And if you watch shows like “Sportscenter” or “First Take”, you probably heard that Kyrie reportedly won’t commit long term to a team, which decreases his trade value. That being said, here are the top 5 teams that would best suit Kyrie Irving.
5. Phoenix Suns
Best Possible Trade: Kyrie Irving for Eric Bledsoe and Josh Jackson
This is the team that if Kyrie went to, it would have the worst record out of these teams, but it just might work out if he commits long term. He would be on a team with Devin Booker who is a future All Star, First Team All-NBA player, and potential MVP candidate if he works his butt off, which he’s been proven to do. And, well, that’s about it. You have a washed up Tyson Chandler and a decent player in Marquese Chriss who could develop into a very solid player, but there isn’t much else to offer. Except that Kyrie finally gets his wish of being the go to option offensively, but it could mess up the development of Devin Booker, and he may just pull a “Kyrie” and get tired of being a sidekick and either leave via trade or leave in free agency.
The real winners of this trade are the Cavaliers. They get Eric Bledsoe, a very good point guard who is good friends with LeBron James, and they also got the fourth overall pick in this year’s stacked draft in Josh Jackson. They filled the point guard void while also surrounding a very talented rookie with championship experience, and since he’s virtually guaranteed a trip to the Finals next year, he will learn what it takes to win.
4. Minnesota Timberwolves
Best Possible Trade: Kyrie for Andrew Wiggins and Gorgui Dieng
Now we all know why Kyrie wants to leave. He wants to be the alpha dog on his own team. But he also has a Kobe-like mentality, and Kobe wants to win regardless. This is a golden opportunity for Kyrie to win. This was even one of his preferred destinations for a trade
The Timberwolves are a projected 4thseed in the competitive Western Conference… without Kyrie. Yes, Andrew Wiggins is a loss, but if a star like Kyrie Irving is on the table, you better grab him before anyone else does. A lineup of Kyrie, Jimmy Butler, Karl-Anthony Towns, Taj Gibson, and Gorgui Dieng sounds scary, excluding Gorgui (unless you include his name).
While Kyrie wouldn’t necessarily be the top dog on this team, it would become almost San Antonio Spurs 2.0, fitting into a system under the great coach in Tom Thibodeau. Of course, Kyrie would learn how to play defense if he wants to stay on Tom’s good side.
3. Miami Heat
Best Possible Trade: Kyrie for Goran Dragic and Justice Winslow
If the Miami Heat do not pull this trade off, then the Heat have the potential to lose desire from other players to sign with them. They lost LeBron James, had the chance to sign Kevin Durant, and potentially couldn’t get Kyrie. But they shouldn’t be too worried, as there are multiple reasons why Kyrie could soon call Miami home. For starters, they have assets. They could give up Goran Dragic, a potential starting point guard (depending on Derrick Rose’s health) and a young star with a lot of potential in Justice Winslow. The Cavs can’t completely fill the void of Kyrie’s absence, but they can at least try to fill it halfway, and this would be a good start for them. This system fits Kyrie almost perfectly. He can be the alpha dog, he has a dominant center in Hassan Whiteside, he has a great coach in Erik Spoelstra, and great unselfish role players.
There is one problem though, and that’s Dion Waiters. He just signed a contract with the Heat, and Miami loves and embraces him. Dion Waiters was drafted by Cleveland, but what some people forget however is that Dion Waiters left Cleveland because he thought he was “better” than Kyrie and that he didn’t just want to be a spot up shooter for Kyrie. But I believe they could both put their egos aside and focus on shaking the playoff picture up in the Eastern Conference.
2. Detroit Pistons
Best Possible Trade: Kyrie and Iman Shumpert for Tobias Harris and Reggie Jackson
If I didn’t have your attention before, I’m willing to say I bet I do now. Kyrie never mentioned Detroit as one of his hand picked destinations, but my question is: Why not? You will have everything you asked for. You’re the “man” of the team; you won’t be the sidekick to anybody. You have a top 10 center in Andre Drummond. You also have Avery Bradley at shooting guard who can defend any guard in the league, so that takes defensive pressure off of you.
This trade also works out for the Cavs. Tobias Harris is a decent backup for LeBron James and Reggie Jackson is a very solid starting point guard. According to ESPN’s trade machine, the Cavs would only lose 2 games compared to last season. That puts them at 49 wins, which isn’t terrible, considering they have a guaranteed trip to the Finals as long as LeBron James is there.
1. New York Knick
Best Possible Trade: Kyrie and Iman Shumpert for Carmelo Anthony
This is the best possible landing spot for Kyrie Irving, and nothing’s better than home. Kyrie grew up in New Jersey, not too far from New York, so that right there is a huge reason why this is the best possible location for him. And with Carmelo leaving, this gives the city of New York a breath of fresh air with Kyrie Irving and Kristaps Porzingis as their core. Porzingis is a 7’3 demigod who can average 2 blocks per game, post up, shoot the three, and throw down putback dunks over basically an entire team. Kyrie Irving is the best finisher around the rim of this generation, if not, of all time. And get this: Kristaps is 22, and Kyrie is 25. Think about how much they could develop together and form one of the best duos in the entire league. Just the thought of that made me have goosebumps. New York could become a popular destination for free agents once more, now that Phil Jackson is out and they have an amazing core. If Kyrie gets traded to New York, he has the best chances of winning another title in the Big Apple.
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