I’m Taking My Ball, And I’m Going….Nowhere??

kyrie irving

To trade him or not to trade him?? That is the question. Following the NBA’s primary Free Agency season, they have remained in the spotlight. Adam Silver is probably sitting in a dark room somewhere, doing his best Dr. Evil impersonation while counting stacks of money. The buzz around the league was dying down, until news broke out of Cleveland last week: Kyrie Irving requested a trade out of Cleveland. This has caused the levees to open, and the rumors to come pouring in.

Media outlets and reporters everywhere are speculating why Kyrie Irving wants to be traded away from the Eastern Conference juggernaut, and that’s all it is, speculation. No one knows exactly what’s going on in Kyrie Irving’s mind. No one knows what the dichotomy is like in the Cavaliers’ locker room. And no one knows if the Cavaliers will actually trade Irving. See, even if Irving did request a trade, the Cavaliers don’t HAVE to trade him. He is under team control, and if Dan Gilbert wants to make 1 more trip to the NBA Finals this upcoming season he’ll hold on to Kyrie Irving.

Now, let’s say the Cavaliers decide to appease Irving and send him packing, they’d reportedly be seeking a king’s ransom. As they should be. While Irving doesn’t play a lick of defense, he IS an unbelievable offensive talent. He has the best handle in the NBA, can shoot from anywhere, and is the best finisher at the rim (under 6’8″) in the NBA. Oh yeah..and he’s ONLY 25 years old. He also has 3 years remaining on his contract (the 3rd year is a player option), so his new team wouldn’t be taking on a rental.

According to reports, Irving has a short list of places he’d like to play:

  • San Antonio Spurs
  • Miami Heat
  • Minnesota Timberwolves
  • New York Knicks

Oh no, you don’t need new glasses, you read that right. Kyrie Irving becomes the 1st player since 1864 to WANT to play for the New York Knicks.

Irving’s reason for wanting to flee Cleveland is he wants to be ‘The Man’. In other words, he wants to trade in his Robin suit for a Batmobile. I am Batman! Reports are also swirling around that he and Lebron James can no longer co-exist. I’m sorry, but this is preposterous. Lebron James may be overbearing, but Kyrie Irving is perfectly happy going to 3 consecutive NBA Finals. Kyrie Irving is perfectly happy leading the team in field goal attempts. And Kyrie Irving is perfectly happy with his contract and enormous Nike deal. Now if you told me he’s trying to preemptively jump ship because Lebron is 1 year away from leaving as well, then we can share a beer. Plus, Dan Gilbert is one of the worst owners in the NBA, so he’s not helping.

Irving is at the Cavaliers’ mercy. They can trade him to Brooklyn. They can trade him to Atlanta. Or they don’t have to trade him at all. But, allow me to dissect each of his preferred destinations, ya know, just in case Dan Gilbert wakes up on the right side of the bed this morning.

Spurs

If Irving were on the Spurs, he certainly wouldn’t be ‘The Man’. That’s Kawhi Leonard’s role. Plus, San Antonio isn’t exactly the most conducive environment for being ‘The Man’.

Miami Heat

In South Beach, Irving would be the alpha male, and he’d be joining a decent roster. This isn’t the worst situation in the world.

Minnesota Timberwolves

This is interesting. The Timberwolves, in the past few months, have become the talk of the town. It would be fun to watch Irving play, and co-exist, with Jimmy Butler and Karl-Anthony Towns. The rest of the NBA should hope Irving doesn’t land in Minnesota.

New York Knicks

And last, but certainly least, MY New York Knicks. First of all, it is AMAZING that someone publicly said they WANT to play for the Knicks. Even when Irving doesn’t come to New York, this will be a win for the most poorly run organization in the NBA. Irving would definitely be the top dog here, and watching him not pass to Kristaps Porzingis would be a lot of fun.

 

Will Kyrie Irving be traded?? If so, where will he go?? Send me your predictions to the comment section below.

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Lebron James Is Decent At Basketball

lebron

There is a short list of things better than sleep. Watching Lebron James play basketball is one of those things. So, if Thursday was your go to bed early day, I feel bad for you. In case anyone had forgotten, Lebron James is still the best player in the world. He reminded us by leading his Cleveland Cavaliers to the greatest comeback win in NBA playoff history. Thanks to his 41 point, 13 rebound, and 12 assist triple double, the Cavaliers became the first team to ever comeback from a 25-point halftime deficit. I knew the Indiana Pacers were in trouble when their 20-point lead shrank to 10 points in a 1:55 span of the 3rd quarter. The Cavaliers now hold a commanding 3-0 lead over the Pacers. And in case you hadn’t noticed, first round loss and Lebron James don’t often collide in the same sentence. Thursday night’s victory extended Lebron James’ winning streak in first round games to 20. That’s insane!

Side note: Can anyone guess the last team to win a first round game against Lebron James? If you said my 2012 New York Knickerbockers you’d be correct. Thanks Melo’.

This streak is tied for the longest since the 1983-1984 postseason, where the playoffs expanded to 16 teams. Last night’s performance also put Lebron in rarefied air. He passed Kobe Bryant for 3rd on the all-time postseason scoring list.

One of the most impressive things about last night’s comeback was Lebron did it by himself. Occasionally in the past, Kevin Love would grab a crucial rebound or JR Smith would decide it’s time to snap out of an 0 for 17 shooting slump. And of course there was the NBA Finals clinching 3-pointer hit by Kyrie Irving last year. However, Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue decided to sit Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving for THE ENTIRE 4th quarter. So much for the Big Three. Of course, Lebron can’t win a championship by himself. We don’t have to look far to find proof of that. Insert cough here, 2015 Finals, cough again, 2007 Finals, cough cough.

As for the task at hand, I believe the Cavaliers are 1 of only 3 teams that can realistically win the Championship this year. The other 2 would be the New England Patr….oops I’m sorry, I’m just so used to them winning I figured they may win the NBA Championship too. The Golden State Warriors and the San Antonio Spurs are the only other teams who have a chance this year. Personally I don’t envision the Warriors losing more than 2 games to anyone en route to another Championship. But as long as Lebron James is still lacing up his Nike sneakers, I won’t be counting him out.

Who do you think will win the NBA Championship? Let me know in the comment section below.

Since you enjoy my writing, follow me over to intheneutralzone.com where I am a contributing author there as well. You can also follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like me on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it!