Considering LeBron James is the greatest player to wear a Cleveland Cavaliers uniform, it's highly debated who follows after him. You could look back to the past and argue that Mark Price or Brad Daugherty should be considered. In the present, Donovan Mitchell continues to pave a path toward becoming the best since James did it in Wine and Gold. However, if you were to ask Mitchell, it's clear to most that Kyrie Irving, James's co-star in Cleveland's 2016 NBA championship run, should earn the honors of the second-best to ever do it for the Cavs.

“He should have his jersey retired,” said Mitchell. “He's a guy who got drafted here and, when LeBron came back, to be able to do what he did at 24 years old, at the highest level, year to year, after going from not winning to coming in and having an immediate impact is truly remarkable.

“It's what he's done in the past in the playoffs and also in his career in Cleveland, he brought this city a championship. Like, him, K-Love, and Bron should all have their jerseys retired. He should definitely have his jersey retired. I mean, it's the only championship in team history and he was a huge part of that.”

Why Cavs must retire Kyrie Irving's jersey

Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving (2) reacts after the Cavs beat the Boston Celtics in game four of the Eastern conference finals of the NBA Playoffs at Quicken Loans Arena.
Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Although it has been seven years since Irving's shocking trade request, which dismantled Cleveland’s Big Three and marked an eventual end to their NBA Finals runs, Mitchell is right. Ignore Irving’s quirkiness and moments of immaturity. Forgive his trade sudden trade demand, a move he seemingly would come to regret. Instead, no matter how you feel about Irving's request to have it all end, it's hard to ignore all he accomplished while in a Cavs uniform.

 James, the prodigal son, abandoned them, taking his talents to South Beach to join the Miami Heat. In their first season without James, the Cavs were reeling, finishing the year 19-63, a shell of a team that just finished the year before with the NBA's best record. But in that darkness, Irving was a beacon, giving Cleveland and their fans something they thought they had lost with James' exodus: hope.

From the moment he took the court for the Cavs, fans and analysts alike knew Irving could become the heir-apparent to James as the team's next franchise cornerstone. It only further solidified through the scoring explosions, the ankle-breaking handles, the All-Star appearance, and All-NBA honors. As Irving's star rose alongside his game, everyone knew that Cleveland, once again, had someone special on their roster to guide them.

“He's just so unpredictable,” said Mitchell on Irving's game. “It's not like every night you know, okay, getting to other spots. That's probably the only thing that's predictable about him, but outside of that is how it gets there. You know, it's just chaos all over.

“He's so tough. He has counters. He knows how to hit tough shots. That's part of what makes him so unique and special.”

Mitchell went on to say that there aren't many like Irving, calling his dribbling and ballhandling artistic. And to Mitchell's point, when James made his eventual return to Cleveland with a promise to win the city a championship, Irving wasn't fazed.

Instead, Irving fit right in when the Cavs began their first of three consecutive NBA Finals runs with him on the roster. It all culminated in him hitting the biggest shot in franchise history, securing the franchise's first championship and the city's first championship in over 50 years.

So while Mitchell could continue to make the conversation tight for the second-best Cavs player ever, it won't change unless he wins Cleveland a championship. Only James, Irving and Kevin Love have that honor and, when all three players hang it up, should have their jerseys hanging in the rafters of Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.