Kyrie Irving is one of the unique personalities in the NBA today. His immense talent, coupled with his seemingly frequent mood swings, make the young guard a constant headline (even he does not exactly love the media) for fans to gobble up and chat about relentlessly. Irving is unlike any talent we have seen before and can be considered the best finisher of all time.
Despite his abilities, many believe that how he deals with off-court issues can somewhat detriment Irving’s overall success as an NBA player. Since forcing his way out of the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2018, Kyrie has yet to play in a Conference Finals despite playing with Jayson Tatum, James Harden, and Kevin Durant. Because of this, many in the NBA wonder whether dealing with Kyrie’s off-court antics outweigh the benefit of his on-court talents.
An NBA Finals-berth, and perhaps even a championship, seems inevitable for this version of the Brooklyn Nets after assembling arguably the most lethal “Big Three” in the history of the NBA. The Nets lost to the Bucks in the conference semi-finals last year, but an injury to Irving played a big part in that match-up. With Irving available, it would be hard to imagine the Nets losing a playoff series against the remaining teams, and Brooklyn probably would have ended the season with their first championship. The Nets are not only feared because of their on-court chemistry, but it feels as if Kevin Durant and James Harden are just the guys they need to keep Kyrie Irving in check. Without a doubt, Irving has found a home with these guys in Brooklyn. Kyrie is so attached to Brooklyn that he seems to be actively discouraging teams from trading for him.
Some NBA news:— nick wright (@getnickwright) September 15, 2021
There are a handful of Kyrie trades that potentially make sense for the Nets, Kyrie’s agents have made it known that Kyrie would simply *retire from the NBA* if Brooklyn were to trade him.
To hear this from Kyrie’s camp is one of the more random things to happen in free agency. If one team did not need to overhaul their roster to compete for a championship, it’s the Brooklyn Nets. For the Nets, health was the most significant deterrent to their success, and even with the Lakers adding Russel Westbrook, the Nets are still the overwhelming favorite to win it all, if healthy. No one believes the Nets will make any moves other than bringing in free agents at a discount, but this recent development might suggest that Brooklyn sees a way that they can get even better.
Coincidentally, the suggestion to move Kyrie Irving also came from Nick Wright in one of his shows on FS1 a few weeks back. When discussing potential landing spots for another controversial star, Ben Simmons, Wright suggested a blockbuster deal that would tremendously benefit both teams.
Ben Simmons for Kyrie Irving will never happen, as the perceived value of Simmons is very low at the moment while Irving is an NBA champion and arguably one of the best scorers in the league today. Pairing Kyrie with Joel Embiid is something the Sixers would love, but does Ben’s lack of shooting stray far from what Steve Nash is trying to do with the Nets? Perhaps. On the flip side, we know that the Nets struggle on the defensive side of the ball, and while Simmons can’t shoot, he can run an offense while getting downhill for some easy baskets.
Ben Simmons is arguably the best defender in the league, and not the player that we saw against Atlanta regarding his abilities on offense. However, no one thinks this deal will realistically happen, but this news leaking suggests that maybe Brooklyn is showing signs of consideration. Besides, with James Harden and Kevin Durant, do you really need more offense?
For the Sixers, the combination of Embiid and Irving alongside players like Tobias Harris and Danny Green makes them instant contenders. The duo would give Anthony Davis and LeBron James a run for their money in the argument of the best big-small combo in the league. Irving is not the same playmaker as James, and Embiid can’t play defense like AD, but on offense, the duo of Embiid and Irving would have no weak spots. The Sixers would automatically be up there with Milwaukee as the close second to represent the Eastern Conference in the NBA Finals.
While it’s nice to dream of an Embiid-Irving duo, the report from Nick Wright suggests that if Irving ended up with the Sixers, we would never even see the two take the court together. However, if you’re in Philadelphia, you might not ever see Embiid and Simmons share the court either, so why not go for it? In reality, neither Irving nor Simmons will have a say in where they end up next season, and at the end of the day, you can’t knock it until you’ve tried it.
There is potentially more risk on Brooklyn’s side as Irving is interested in playing for them, but I can’t imagine a scenario where Simmons refuses to play for a team like the Nets. I also cannot imagine a scenario where the Nets are worse off with Simmons versus Irving; imagine KD and Harden having Ben Simmons to set them up and play defense on Giannis, LeBron, and AD? I don’t know about you, but Simmons would surely make Brooklyn unstoppable.