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Y’all come on now... Kyrie?!? Really?

The Phoenix Suns reportedly interested in picking up Kyrie Irving, but I call bunk on that rumor

Brooklyn Nets v Phoenix Suns Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images

All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving of the Brooklyn Nets has, for the second time in eight months, demanded a trade from the Brooklyn Nets because they won’t give him a long term guaranteed contract.

Rumor has it the Phoenix Suns are one of three teams who might be interested in acquiring Irving in the next five days before the annual trade deadline on February 9.

Judging by my twitter mentions, people have an amazing capacity to ignore the worst parts of a person if there’s even the smallest chance they can get their best.

Such was the case this morning when I tweeted that there’s little chance a Suns team that sent Jae Crowder home over a ‘extend me or trade me’ stance would acquire Kyrie Irving for doing the same thing.

I am somehow getting RATIOED so far on this absolutely sane take. What the heck was in your Wheaties this morning?

The Phoenix Suns are already dealing with an ‘extend me or trade me’ stance from Jae Crowder, and their reaction was and still is to send him home, indefinitely, until they can get what they want for him in trade. They simply don’t want that me-first attitude permeating among the team day in and day out.

Could the Suns have traded Jae by now? Sure. But they haven’t because (a) they’re not in this to make Jae happy and (b) they’re in this to make themselves better for the playoffs on their own terms.

And now you want them to acquire a player like Kyrie Irving who is doing the same thing to the Nets, except on a much more profound level because he’s an All-Star level player, and has ZERO history of ‘playing nice’ even in the best of circumstances?

Sure, you can put on your blinders and say that Kyrie would be an angel for five months while the Suns try to win a championship.

But I ask you to show me the work. When has Kyrie — who has always been on a championship run with his current team, be it the Cleveland Cavaliers, Boston Celtics or Brooklyn Nets and come up short every single time since 2016 — just simply put his mind to playing when his contract is in flux?

If the Suns acquire Kyrie, they acquire the whole guy. Not just the player. Let’s just look at the Nets. They acquire the guy who took two weeks off during his first season with the Nets just because, simply sat out a season for disagreeing with team vaccine rules, and then again was sent home for refusing to apologize for sharing a radically anti-semitic book with his 21 million followers.

Every single time he forced the TEAM to make a concession for him, just to get him back on the court. And how does he repay them?

Last summer, he threatened to opt out of his $36 million final year and demanded a sign-and-trade to a team willing to give him a 4-year, $200 extension guaranteed. When not one suitor stepped up, he simply about-faced and picked up his $36 million final year. But then he kept coming, and even in the backlash of the anti-jewish stuff, he still demands a fully-guaranteed long-term contract extension... and then suddenly puts out ANOTHER trade demand because they wouldn’t give it to him. Who knows if he’s even going to play the new few games while the team figures out what they’re going to do.

Ahh, but you think if the Suns trade for him he will just pipe down for a few months until the playoffs are over? And that he will put the Suns over the hump along the way? Like maybe the 2016 Kyrie? The problem is that the 2016 Kyrie doesn’t exist anymore.

After winning the championship with one of the two greatest players of all time, he asked for a trade so he could his team’s best player. He was supposed to help Boston get over the hump, and instead ran them headlong into it. Then he left for the Nets on a long-term guaranteed max contract and promptly told everyone, “We don’t really have a head coach. Me, Kevin [Durant], Sean [Marks, GM] and Joe [Tsai, owner] will run things.”

Uhhh. This is the guy you want in Phoenix? His team’s total championships in the last six seasons? 0.

11 playoff wins in 5 years since forcing himself out of Cleveland, including missing playoffs, getting swept out in the first round once and missing all or the end of another two playoff runs. That’s four bad endings in his last five seasons.

Let me bullet point it for you:

  • 2018 Playoffs with Celtics: out/injured for entire playoffs, Celtics made the Conf Finals without him
  • 2019 Playoffs with Celtics: 5 playoffs wins, but lost their last 4 straight to the Bucks in the second round
  • 2020 with Nets, first year on max contract: played in only 20 games, missed playoffs; they lovingly called this the injured-Durant ‘gap year’ while paying him $30 million
  • 2021 Playoffs with Nets: 6 wins, but missed the last three games of the second round due to injury as Nets lost to Bucks, again
  • 2022 Playoffs with Nets: got swept out of first round, averaged only 15 ppg on 37% shooting over the last 3

You still want him? That’s the guy you’re saying is better than Chris Paul because Chris Paul is unreliable?

Okay fine.

Let’s play this out.

If the Suns acquire Kyrie Irving, they could immediately give him a guaranteed two year extension of up to $78.6 million. I’ve already told you what Kyrie does when given a long-term deal: Chaos.

The Suns could alternately acquire him without talking money at all, leaving the extension possibility open for now because they can extend him at any time through June 30. I’ve already told you what Kyrie does with a contract stalemate which is what’s happening in Brooklyn right now. Chaos.

The Suns could alternately tell Kyrie that the extension is off the table, and that they want to wait till the summer for contract talk. They could try to just absorb Kyrie’s constant mentions of money for the next few months and hope he balls out anyway. But I’ve already told you what Kyrie does when he doesn’t feel comfortable about his team’s commitment to him: Chaos.

The Suns could deal with ALL that for the next five months and let Kyrie walk away this summer... but here’s something I haven’t told you yet, in this column.

If the Suns acquire Kyrie for, say, Dario, Landry and Jae, then they will have Kyrie’s expiring $36 million deal coming off the books this summer. Except, they are still well over the cap, even over the luxury tax, and will have only a single salary slot of up to $6 million (taxpayer MLE) to replace him. That’s it.

Even if that’s okay with you, there’s no way the Nets just take three rotation players for All-Star Kyrie.

Do you want the Suns to up the ante? ANY ramp up in Suns assets (Cameron Johnson, Deandre Ayton, Chris Paul, first round pick, whatever) is an asset that is also gone forever, and the Suns would still be over the cap, and at BEST have a $11 MLE slot to replace that player this summer or go into next year even worse than now.

There’s no good scenario here because the guy we are talking about is KYRIE IRVING.

I just don’t see it, folks. I don’t see any good coming of a Kyrie Irving acquisition.

Still, have your vote:


Would you trade for Kyrie Irving if the cost is only Jae, Dario and Landry, despite everything in this column?

This poll is closed

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828 votes total Vote Now

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