Kyrie Irving is the “free spirit” of the NBA, he has never been afraid of saying what is on his mind and has had a tendency of leaving great teams. Since he joined the Dallas Mavericks, they went through a very tough stretch. Many believed that the duo of Irving and Luka Doncic was expected to lead the Dallas Mavericks to the postseason and potentially make a deep playoff run. However, they fell greatly short and went on to not even make the play-in tournament. With Irving set to be an unrestricted free agent this offseason, he is free to sign with any team he would like. There are three teams that would be the best landing spots for the veteran point guard.
The first potential landing spot for Irving this offseason is the Los Angeles Lakers. This would once again pair up LeBron James and Irving, however, this time rather than having Kevin Love as the third member of the big three, it would be Anthony Davis. There would have to be a lot of work on the Lakers’ side to make this happen, or Irving would have to take a massive pay cut.
If the Lakers decide that they want to add Irving to the roster, they would likely have to let D’Angelo Russell, Austin Reaves, Jarred Vanderbilt, and Rui Hauchimaura walk in free agency. These are four players who have played a massive role in Los Angeles turning their season around.
As we have seen with the Phoenix Suns in their series against the Denver Nuggets, depth is extremely important deep into the playoffs. With James, Davis, and Irving all struggling to make it through entire seasons at this point in their careers, this would be an extremely risky move, however, if they can convince enough quality players to join the team in minimum deals to fill out the bench, it could work.
Another quality landing spot would be for Irving to remain a member of the Dallas Mavericks. While the team greatly struggled with the duo of Irving and Doncic, it is a pairing that still has a lot of potential.
Similar to the Lakers, the Mavericks’ front office will have to be active this offseason to make the pairing work. With Christian Wood struggling to make it into the starting lineup, this is a player that the team should look to move him in a trade for a more traditional big.
Along with this, they must find some wing defenders. Despite being some of the best scorers in the league, both Irving and Doncic are amongst some of the worst defenders in the league. If the team plans on keeping both of these players together, they must find three-and-d players that can stretch the floor and defend some of the opposing team’s best scorers.
The final top landing spot for Irving this offseason is the Los Angeles Clippers. The Kawhi Leonard and Paul George experiment has been a failure up to this point. It has been a struggle to get both stars on the floor at the same time due to injuries. Despite this, they are still one of the most talented teams in the league when they are fully healthy.
To make this happen, they would have to find ways to trade players like John Wall, Marcus Morris Sr., and Norman Powell to create some cap space. These players would not be major losses for the Clippers, and adding Irving to the roster would add even more offensive firepower to the roster.
Irving’s lack of defense would be very easy to hide on this roster. Even through their injuries, George and Leonard are still some of the best perimeter defenders in the league. The Clippers were very interested in adding Irving to the roster at the trade deadline, and signing him in the offseason would allow them to still get him while not being forced to give up draft capital.
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