Despite Kyrie Irving being one of the NBA’s premier players, the field to acquire the star point guard’s services this summer appears to be fairly small.
The bulk of Irving-related rumors have centered around the New York Knicks, who reportedly have a “95 percent chance” of signing the six-time All-Star. One has to imagine the Boston Celtics will make a push to re-sign Irving, who could generate interest from New York’s other team, the Brooklyn Nets, as well. The Lakers were expected to be in the mix, but there’s reportedly “no chance in hell” Irving ends up in Los Angeles.
So if these reports are true, the Irving sweepstakes currently are a three-horse race. But if you ask ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne, there might be a dark horse waiting in the wings.
“I can just see a world in which he goes to the Phoenix Suns, where that is such a great fit for him,” Shelburn said Tuesday on “The Jump.” “Look, we tried this this year where Kyrie goes into a situation where he tries to be a leader, he tries to carry a team to the next level, to a championship — it didn’t work. He couldn’t do it. If anything, you reset things where expectations are lower and you can have more of an impact on the culture. I know there’s been a lot of discussion about the Knicks and there’s been discussion about the Nets. I don’t really see how he fits in Brooklyn without them having to trade one of their backcourt (players), right?”
Point guard has been a major issue for the Suns in recent years. Phoenix is well suited for the future with the likes of Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton, but the franchise can only go so far without a legitimate floor general. Irving could fill that void in spades, and he and Booker quickly could become one of the most dynamic backcourts in the league.
That said, the Suns aren’t a very well-run franchise and Irving likely will be looking for stability in his next landing spot, especially in wake of his two messy seasons in Boston. Phoenix’s current crop of talent is promising, but it doesn’t have much else to offer to a superstar like Irving.
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