Kyrie Irving is going to have the most talked about NBA free agency this summer. Arguably the most polarizing figure across the league, there is no denying the talent that comes along with the controversies he inevitably brings with him. Once NBA free agency begins, Kyrie Irving will be coveted by teams across the league for what he brings to the table at the point guard position. Eventually, he will be signed to a gargantuan contract regardless of any concerns about his off the court behavior. With that being said, there are some destinations that are better than others for the Dallas Mavericks guard; the Los Angeles Lakers, the Chicago Bulls, and staying with the Mavs would be the three best options for Kyrie Irving.
Kyrie Irving needs to go to a team that will allow him to be himself both on and off the court, as well as accepting the things he might not be as good at. It is common knowledge that Irving might have the most versatile skillset in the NBA with his dribbling moves and layup packages. On the other side of the token, Irving is a below average defender, so he needs a team that is not going to expect him to lock up opposing teams' best players. This is what makes the Lakers, Mavs and Bulls such great fits for Irving. Here is why Kyrie Irving should decide to move to Los Angeles, Chicago, or stay in Dallas in NBA free agency.
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3. Dallas Mavericks
Staying with the Mavs makes sense for Kyrie Irving given the numbers he put up last year. Playing alongside Luka Doncic spaces the floor for him on the offensive end and allows his creativity with the basketball to excel. Not to mention, Luka handles all of the facilitating duties, so Irving can just focus on getting to his spots and pouring in buckets. The Mavs struggled mightily on the defensive end last year, but they will have to look elsewhere to shore up that side of the ball. Keeping Irving will at least keep the most talented backcourt in the NBA in Dallas, allowing them to focus on bringing in one more piece to help them defensively and on the glass.
Giving the Mavs a chance also makes sense because Irving did not have many games with them last season. Although the year ended in disappointment, he and Luka were barely ever on the floor together, so it can't be labeled a failed experiment just yet. Of course if Irving were to leave then it would be a failed experiment; as of now the Luka and Kyrie project still has a chance to work. A full season between the two would prove if they could play winning basketball alongside each other, and Irving would be prudent to consider giving it a chance.
2. Chicago Bulls
Many around the league questioned the Chicago Bulls for not diving into a rebuild after another mediocre season and a lost year for Lonzo Ball. Ball was once supposed to be the point guard of the future for the Bulls, and now it is a question of whether or not he will ever return to the court. The silver lining in all of this is that it opens up a golden opportunity for Kyrie Irving to come in and run the show. Chicago is a perfect fit, as they are one of the better perimeter defending teams in the NBA, and can get scoring from pretty much every position besides point guard. Kyrie Irving would give the Bulls the dynamic scorer they need at the guard position to actually be a contender.
It remains to be seen if the Bulls are actually considering giving up on Lonzo Ball, and it sounded like Arturas Karnisovas wasn't quite there yet after the season. However, the opportunity to add Kyrie Irving would change that in a heartbeat, as the primary piece the Bulls need would be filled. The Bulls could even still hold out hope that Ball returns and pair him with Irving as the perfect defensive and facilitating complement at the guard position. Nevertheless, Kyrie Irving would fit with the Bulls, and both sides should contemplate a union.
1. Los Angeles Lakers
The Lakers are the obvious fit for Kyrie Irving. Playing alongside LeBron James was the most team success Irving ever had, and his game complements James perfectly. Both have been vocal about how much they would love to play together, and adding Irving would solve major problems for both the Lakers and James and Irving. One, Irving would get to play for a contender and reunite with a teammate he won a championship with. The Lakers would immediately become an NBA Finals favorite. In terms of the Lakers, it would coerce James into returning and silence any talk of retirement, as he would be too hard pressed to pass up playing alongside Irving and Anthony Davis. On all sides, a marriage between the Lakers and Kyrie Irving makes sense.
There are a few obstacles in the way, namely the free agents the Lakers already have. It is clear that their priority is retaining Austin Reaves and Rui Hachimura, however there is a way to do so and still bring in Kyrie Irving. If the Lakers could keep Reaves, Hachimura, and add Irving with James and Davis, they would be a very scary team. Not to mention, James is only going to play if he knows the Lakers are championship contenders; Kyrie Irving making Los Angeles his new home would put the Lakers in contention for James' fifth ring.