CANTON, Ohio- Trading Lebron James instead of Kyrie Irving. If I could insert a laughing face with tears, believe me, I would.
Yet, I’ve heard some radio personalities and even national talking heads suggest that. Even some fans.
Here’s my question, are these people serious? Or, are they just trying to make a name for themselves by saying something so stupid like that? Unfortunately, sometimes people are paid to be provocative and not be their real selves on air to help create a buzz for the station and get more ratings. In other words, not speak their real mind. Say something that’s completely crazy or against common sense.
If that’s what you’re looking for or you like that kind of stuff, I’m not someone you should be following.
THESE ARE THE FACTS:
- Kyrie Irving claims that he wants to be “The guy” and run the show. If memory serves me correctly, while Irving was “The guy”, Cleveland had the worst record in the NBA. Now, Kyrie didn’t have the best supporting cast around him, but he wasn’t capable of leading a team or making the players around him good enough to even make a push for the 8th seed in the East.
- Kyrie is a very gifted offensive talent, not many can guard him one on one. Kyrie also has the best ball handling skills in the NBA and can finish at rim with the best of them. He’s also still only 25 with room to improve. But, does he really want to improve? From passing, playing better off the ball to his defense. All of which he needs to work on.
- Irving, as gifted as he is, is not a franchise changer. He’s not going to take a below .500 team and turn them into a playoff team. Lebron is a once in a generation player. With his size, speed and abilities on the court, we are truly watching a special talent.
- James has made it to the finals 7 straight years, 8 total appearances. Anyone who takes that for granted should be ashamed of themselves. It’s hard enough to make it to the finals once, let alone 7 straight seasons.
IRVING MUST GO
- Cleveland will never EVER win another title with this selfish Kyrie Irving on the team, even with James still on the roster. Irving has made it clear, he wants to be the guy. That can’t happen on a team like this.
- The Cavaliers are now in perfect position to get better in some aspects at PG and maybe even a role player or some draft picks, or a combination of them.
- Kyrie is going to find out the hard way, that being on a team that has won so much over the past 3 seasons, isn’t as easy as it may have seemed.
- Cleveland is in complete control of where he ends up. The Cavs hold all the cards and can wait as long as they want to wait for the right deal. I highly recommend they do that. If Cleveland plays their cards right, they can improve this team in a couple ways.
- Not only can they become a better team in the short-term, but depending on the players they get in return, they could start building for the future when James retires. I still feel Lebron is going to sign a max deal next Summer and stay, unless the team falls apart that bad.
- CLEVELAND RECEIVES- Guard Malcolm Brogdon, guard Matthew Dellavedova, guard/forward Khris Middleton and possible a future protected draft pick. Milwaukee would receive guard Kyrie Irving and Iman Shumpert. One side of me likes this deal, but trading within the division is always scary. I like all three Bucks players, but it makes me nervous to play Irving 4 times in the regular season and maybe again in the playoffs. Defensively though, Cleveland could stick Delly on Irving to take him off his game like they did with Steph Curry. I’m 50/50 on this trade.
- Cleveland receives- Guard Damian Lillard. Portland gets Kyrie Irving and Iman Shumpert. I like this trade a lot. Irving would have the whole spotlight on him and be the man in Portland. Cleveland would get an all-star guard in Lillard who would fill the starting PG role nicely and is under contract through the 20-21 season. I like this deal a lot. Although Cleveland would only be getting 1 player in return, Lillard is a really good overall player and would help improve the back court for Cleveland. Irving is slightly better offensively, but overall, Lillard brings more to the table and will play even better and harder with James as his teammate and a thirst for reaching the finals for the first time ever.
- CLEVELAND RECEIVES- Guard/forward Andrew Wiggins and forward/center Gorgui Dieng. Minnesota would receive Kyrie Irving and Iman Shumpert. I like this trade as well. Although Wiggins and James play the same position, you could always move James to the PG and allow him to run the offense, he does it anyway, and that allows Wiggins to move into the starting lineup. Gorgui Dieng would give Cleveland help in the front court as well. Plus, Irving would be out of the Eastern conference. You’d play him twice a year. Minnesota isn’t representing the West in the Finals for a while. Yes, Golden State still owns the West.
Cleveland can take its time and wait for the best possible offer, and they should. I’ll never say that Irving is a good player. He’s a great player, from an offensive stand point. But, to think he’s going to turn around a franchise the way he’s talking is crazy. Being selfish and unwilling to put in the work to become a better overall player will hold him back from reaching his full potential.
And why on earth would you want to leave a team that has reached the finals 3 straight seasons and play along the best player in the league? I don’t want to hear people say, “Well, he must know James is leaving next year and doesn’t want to stick around to be left behind”. Again, I don’t see James leaving and based off everything I’m reading and hearing, it comes down to Kyrie wanting to be the only star on the team. Well, he’s in for a rude awakening.
Credit all authors of images used in both article and as cover image : Nick broulis