The summer seems to get crazier by the day in the NBA world. As soon as general managers around the league thought they could take a vacation, Kyrie Irving reportedly told the Cleveland front office that he would like to be traded. While many are curious as to why Kyrie would consider being traded from the best team in the Eastern Conference, others have applauded his decision of wanting a bigger role on a team.
Many teams will be licking their chops at the thought of having the superstar point guard on their team. It will essentially come down to whether the best offer Cleveland receives is the best for the team moving forward. Just like gauging Kyrie Irving’s trade value, it may be impossible to properly rank him among other players in the NBA.
Kyrie is one of the top point guards in the league, and the 25-year-old has already proven himself to be one of the best scorers in the game. As praised as Irving is on offense, he faces the same amount of criticism on the other side of the ball. Also, he’s shown the tendency to over dribble on many occasions. There isn’t any evidence yet that a Kyrie-led team can be a winner, which could make GM’s think twice about how much they are willing to give away for him.
Many have publicly questioned not only the timing of Kyrie’s trade request, but the decision in its entirety. Why leave the clear favorite (for the past 3 seasons) to make the Finals out of the East? Why not take one more stab at taking down Golden State?
If a trade does occur, the point guard will be taking on more responsibility, more pressure, more everything. While Kyrie can continue to be a highly productive sidekick in Cleveland, if LeBron is there, the main responsibilities will always go to him. With the uncertainty of LeBron’s future and the opportunity of an increased role within an organization, the timing of a Kyrie trade could be perfect.
It was never the plan for Kyrie to be a sidekick anyway. This is a chance to write the legacy he wants to have with his own pen and pad. He’s won a championship already and that’s not going to be taken away from him. Since he has yet to reach his prime, there are plenty of achievements Kyrie would like to check off his bucket list. Some he may not be able to accomplish until he is handed over the keys to a team.
While all of this sounds great, there’s just one problem.
Is Kyrie that guy?
Can he lead a team on his own?
Just because you want more doesn’t mean that you should have more. It’s fair to say that Kyrie is in one of the best situations any player can ask for. Right now, it’s simple what his role is for the Cavs – Just be Kyrie. Nothing more. Nothing less. The team was far from being a contender until LeBron came back to Cleveland and now have went to three straight Finals. The pressure of making everybody else better and finding everybody in the right spots isn’t there for him. Playing second fiddle to LeBron, his buckets come a lot easier and his defense, or lack thereof, is even hidden to an extent. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that by the way; it’s gotten him a ring.
Therefore, Kyrie is the hardest person in the NBA to rank; there is no clear answer to the argument. His strengths are as great as his flaws are glaring. That said, he thought hard about his future, requested a trade, and didn’t shy away when reports were made publicly; which should be respected. What Kyrie wants and what’s best for him may vary, but his legacy will finally be in his own hands.
He won’t have much trouble fitting in to a new role individually, but how will his new team fare?