Tha Sports Junkies 101

Kyrie Irving’s Best Fits and Potential Landing Spots

Kyrie Irving Erik Drost/ via


After shocking the NBA world last week when he announced that he wanted to move on from the Cleveland Cavaliers, All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving is expected to be moved before the end of the offseason. Irving named four teams as preferred landing spots. While this doesn’t mean he’s guaranteed to go to one of those four teams, let’s take a look at where he would fit best.

New York Knicks

The Bad News Knicks have already acquired one and lost one point guard thus far in the offseason. Derrick Rose spent just one season in New York, and the Knicks drafted Frenchman Frank Ntilikina 8th overall in this year’s draft. Surprisingly enough, Kyrie mentioned New York as one of his four preferred destinations. We’ll chalk that one up to their rich history of winning and not their recent success (or lack thereof). With Derrick Rose signing with the Cleveland Cavaliers, it almost appears as a lopsided trade of sorts. If Irving were to go to the Big Apple, he could provide Ntilikina with a veteran leader and former champion that he could learn from as he matures and improves his game. For New York, acquiring Irving could be one of the only things that could convince their estranged star Carmelo Anthony to stay.

Miami Heat

Ahh South Beach. Who doesn’t love Miami? Even with less championship potential than the Celtics, they still almost managed to snag Gordon Hayward in free agency. Irving likely chose Miami as another potential destination for a few reasons. Ther second-half sure last season proved they could be playoff ready this season. Star center Hassan Whiteside is uber-talented but doesn’t demand the spotlight like a LeBron or a Melo, and their role players aren’t half bad either. Miami would likely have to give up fan-favorite point guard Goran Dragic, but it’s worth it for a star like Kyrie. (The sandy beaches and warm weather may have been a factor as well.)

Kyrie to Miami could be fun. It could also bring back an era in Miami that fans haven’t seen since a certain LeBron James also went from Cleveland to Miami. Irving would also be a good mentor to the many young players on Miami’s roster.

San Antonio Spurs

I don’t really understand this choice. Irving reportedly cited being sick of the “Robin” to LeBron James’ “Batman” role as his reason for leaving. If he went to the Spurs, however, the situation wouldn’t be all that different. While Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge certainly demand smaller spotlights than LeBron, they are still stars in their own right. Joining the Spurs would give Kyrie the best chance to win now, and he already has a bond with coach Gregg Popovich during their time with team USA. I just don’t see how that much of a difference between his current situation and where he would be if he joined San Antonio. That’s also not to mention Tony Parker. Parker is 35, but he still has a lot left in the tank. Would he come off the bench if Kyrie came to The Alamo?

The upside for Kyrie joining the Spurs? Win now, win later, lots of winning. The downside? Another shared spotlight situation, and who’s to say he won’t run away from that one a few years down the road?

Minnesota Timberwolves

This one makes more sense than San Antonio, but less than Miami. The Timberwolves already signed Jeff Teague this offseason. That is on top of getting Jimmy Butler in a trade with Chicago and signing veteran Jamal Crawford. The crowded backcourt doesn’t make for the most ideal situation for Kyrie, but we can assume Teague might go to Cleveland in a potential trade. Another issue is that Minnesota already has a big three of sorts. Despite not having played together yet, Jimmy Butler, Karl-Anthony Towns, and Andrew Wiggins make for quite the formidable trio. Adding Irving to the mix could create yet another Batman-Robin situation.

Who knows, maybe Kyrie is okay being Robin, just not to LeBron James. Irving and Butler could mentor the young Towns and Wiggins, but you know what they say, there’s only one basketball. Then again, KD and the Warriors made it work with similar playing styles. Minnesota would have four stars with contrasting playing styles, which could help them coexist even better than Golden State’s stars.

Regardless of where he ends up, there is still the issue of how the news broke to the public. LeBron claimed that Kyrie didn’t say anything to him prior to meeting with the Cavs front office. While he’s under no obligation, you would think he owes it to a man he has played alongside for the last three seasons. Also, LeBron said he planned on “letting the Cleveland front office handle the situation.” What? You mean the management in Cleveland actually gets to do something without LeBron’s input for once? It’s about time.

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