Kyrie needs the Knicks, more than the Knicks need Kyrie
Kyrie Irving does not make the Knicks better in the Eastern Conference.
Should a trade be accepted, sending Kyrie to the Knicks would cost Carmelo Anthony, and most likely their 1st round pick Frank Ntilikina with other future draft picks. With that move, the likely starting lineup for the Knicks would be: Kyrie Irving, Tim Hardaway Jr., Courtney Lee, Kristaps Porzingis, and Willy Hernangomez. While it is a decent lineup, the Knicks remain a question mark in the Eastern Conference.
Kyrie Irving is reportedly unhappy with his role as the second-rate player on the Cleveland Cavaliers. LeBron James is the current frontman for the team, a team which without Kyrie on it, LeBron wouldn’t have joined. Irving wants to play on a team where he is the focal point of the offense and the frontman like LeBron James. Teams including the Knicks that are interested in him are the Miami Heat, Boston Celtics, and the San Antonio Spurs. Where he’d spend his talents better as a frontman is in New York or Miami. Both teams have the need for a dominant point guard. But for Kyrie, New York, despite the past years of turmoil, are the more attractive destination.
New York has put together a roster with Kristaps Porzingis as the centerpiece. A young big man with a great shooting touch is something Kyrie has to be in for. With Kyrie able to penetrate defenses with ease he has a chance to average great statistics in scoring and assists with Porzingis serving as a go to pass to assist option for the score or as a decoy to draw defenses toward the big man and leave Kyrie more room to make attempts at the basket from close range.
The move is better for Kyrie than it is for the Knicks. It’s not from a playoff perspective, it’s from a championship perspective. From Kyrie’s point of view he’s won a title, and been to the NBA Finals three times. He’s a proven champion. Playing for the Knicks, he’s capable of getting them to the playoffs. They’re not in a position to win a title which is what the Knicks need more than anything. With Kyrie on the team, there’s still the issue of whether Kyrie can win a title without LeBron. Until that comes to a close conclusion, i.e, the Knicks make a run as far as the Eastern Conference Finals, Kyrie is simply in the better position to succeed regardless of team success. His image, his attraction as a player and winner, and fan fare make him capable of success in all regards of the game both on and off the court.
Where the Cavaliers are concerned, they want a young investment sent back to them in exchange for Irving. The 2017 draft class is very appealing to Cleveland and even where the Knicks are concerned, they may ask for Kristaps Porzingis. No team wants to offload a rookie they know could impact their team just as good as Irving. Irving is a win now or a playoff team type of move, but a rookie or impact player like Porzingis is a win long-term option. Irving just isn’t worth the risk to many teams.
LeBron James could potentially leave Cleveland at the end of the season. This move opens up for Irving to remain in Cleveland for a season where they could make another Finals run, and if James were to leave, Irving would be the star in Cleveland once again.
For Kyrie Irving, it’s all about being the star, and at this point he doesn’t care where. For the Cavaliers, it’s about getting value back to keep their franchise going long-term.
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Hailing from New York City from the borough of Brooklyn, Dillon is a die-hard New York sports fan. He currently resides in Upstate New York, where he studies at Wells College in Aurora, NY.
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