Irving & His Next Possible Landing Spot
There is no questioning that Kyrie Irving is among the top NBA PG’s in the league at this current moment in time. However, Irving has now played two seasons with Boston and it yielded him two playoff exits and zero finals appearances. Two years ago, the Celtics made it to the Eastern Conference finals without Irving and Hayward even playing. This year, Boston had both of those star players at complete health and pulled up way short of the conference finals. If I were Kyrie Irving, I would be thinking about that scenario in my head. The Celtics made it further without him playing at all in the playoffs. This was his year. His chance to prove he’s capable of being ‘The Guy.’ He simply just couldn’t do it. This really puts Irving in the pressure cooker as to whether or not he should stay or go. Many believe he will split town and join another team for next season.
The reason Celtics fans can criticize Irving heavily is because of how he talked all season long. He would repeatedly say “Just wait until the playoffs” or “Judge me in the playoffs.” That was enough for many Celtics Nation fans at the time. However, when the time came, Irving only had two games in the playoffs where he shot above 50% from the field. His shooting numbers during the playoffs were as follows: 19-62 from two-point range and 4-20 from three point-range. Not good at all. At the end of the day it leaves you with a question, maybe Kyrie Irving just can’t be the best player on the team. The whole reason he left Cleveland in the first place was to be the leader of a franchise and bring them a championship. This was going to be the year when the Celtics took over the eastern conference. Instead, he was embarrassed by a very good Milwaukee Bucks team.
The overall consensus right now is that there’s a strong likelihood that Kyrie Irving will be departing Boston during the off-season and join another team. As a Celtics fan myself, I wouldn’t be surprised if he joins another squad either. He has spent two years of his career in Boston and when he finally got the chance to lead the them in the playoffs, he goofed. So, now what? Is he going to join the Knicks? Will he go reunite with LeBron out in Los Angeles? Or will he make a shocking move and sign with a team like the Mavericks? Many think he will stay in the eastern conference, but where he will ultimately end up is unknown. Here are some of the likely landing spots for Kyrie next year:
New York Knicks
This rumor is getting the most hype out of them all because superstar Kevin Durant is right smack dab in the middle of it. There are several different media sources that say they have very convincing information that Durant is going to go to the Knicks after this season. If that is the case, Kyrie Irving should be chomping at the bit to go and join him. How can the Knicks afford this deal? Oh yeah, the Knicks just dumped Kristaps Porzingis in a trade and freed up a bunch of space. They would be able to sign Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving during the off-season. That would immediately make the Knicks a championship contender.
If KD does not go to the Knicks in the off-season, I do not have reason to believe that Irving will go there at this time. He loves winning and he wants nothing more than another championship. With that in mind, doesn’t it make sense to avoid the Knicks because he would still be ‘The Guy’ there. Except, Boston has a way better supporting cast than the Knicks. The only way I believe this theory is if KD goes to the Knicks. After all, these two superstars have a friendship that runs deep. Maybe they do plan on playing together next season.
The Los Angeles Lakers
The Lakers are another popular landing spot for Kyrie Irving because they are surrounded with talent and he would be with LeBron again. It is public knowledge that Irving has reached out to LeBron and apologized for the way he left Cleveland and for thinking it would be so easy to lead to a team. He made up with him and leaked it out to the public. He must have done that for a reason. It could have been just to clear the air with Bron, or it could have been a sign that there is more to come from these two stars. Either way, the Lakers have a very strong supporting cast in Kyle Kuzma, Rajon Rondo, Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, & the resurged JaVale McGee. That certainly would be a team destined for a big playoff run and maybe even a championship contender. The two already know how to play together and they already won 1 championship as a duo.
This would probably be the most shocking decision of them all if he really does end up going back to LeBron. The internet and the public would immediately paint a picture of LeBron being his ‘Big Brother.’ That just not the image a guy like Kyrie Irving wants in his career right now. Either way you look at it, I can justify why he would choose to go play with LeBron, I just don’t think it’s going to happen.
The Dallas Mavericks
This is one of the less popular landing spots for Kyrie Irving to go this offseason, but it certainly wouldn’t be a poor decision. The Mavericks just acquired Kristaps Porzingis in a trade during the regular season. We all know what Porzingis brings to the table, he is an absolute monster. Then Dallas drafted the best rookie in 2018 in Luka Doncic who went on to win rookie of the year in the 2019 season. He averaged 21.2 PPG, 7.8 rebounds per game, and 6 assists per game. Oh and by the way, he’s only 20 years old.
Tim Hardaway Jr. is another addition that Dallas made to their roster last season and he can be an offensive force when he’s feeling it. Other than that, Dallas would need to add another solid player for it to be worth it for Kyrie Irving to come. If you are thinking about him getting a championship 2-3 years in the future, then Dallas might be the spot for Irving. However, Kyrie wants to win right now, so picking the Mavs probably won’t fulfill that goal.
Overall, it’s too early to really know where Irving will go this offseason. But one thing is for sure, I firmly believe he will join a team where he is not the best player on the floor by a big margin. He is realizing that in this day and age, you need a ‘super team’ to be the last one standing in the playoffs. Where ever he ends up going, there is no doubt in my mind that he will return to himself and be more consistent on a game to game basis.