Kyrie Irving is one of the most controversial NBA players. ESPN's Stephen A. Smith has not been shy about giving brutally honest takes on the Brooklyn Nets point guard. Smith once again shared an honest take on Irving in a recent ESPN First Take segment. But Smith only had positive things to say about Irving this time around. In fact, he claims that Kyrie will be a legitimate MVP candidate this season.

“I got Kyrie Irving as one of my top league MVP candidates,” Smith said. “I think Kyrie Irving is going to put on a show this year. Everybody better brace themselves.”

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Stephen A. Smith went on to explain how Kyrie Irving will be motivated since this is a contract season. If Irving plays well, he will be in line for a major payday in NBA free agency. Regardless of whether the Nets pay him or not, the point guard will receive no shortage of interest.

Kyrie Irving's name has unfortunately been tied to off the court stories in recent years. But it is almost universally agreed upon that he's one of the most talented players in basketball when on the court. If Irving is able to avoid any drama and simply focuses on the season, he likely will have a tremendous 2022-2023 campaign. But earning an MVP award while playing alongside Kevin Durant could prove to be difficult. Durant is someone who could garner MVP votes as well.

It will be interesting to see if Smith is correct in his Kyrie Irving-MVP candidate assessment.