Kyrie Irving wants out of Cleveland and Miami is on his list of preferred destinations.
The 25 year old point guard wants to stretch his wings and go to a team where he will be the lead player. Mixed reactions quickly followed after the trade request announcement. Some praise him for wanting to step out on his own while others thinks its a ludicrous decision to part ways from his teammate LeBorn James.
Irving certainly caught the attention of Miami’s front office. After learning Irving would like to play for Miami, reports started to spur that the feeling was mutual. It was reported Miami is interested in trading small forward Justise Winslow and point guard Goran Dragic for Irving. Miami and Cleveland are pretty familiar with one another, especially after James departed from Cleveland in 2010 to play for the Miami Heat.
But what does Miami have to offer this go round? Cleveland is interested in young players and draft picks. Miami can not offer a first round draft pick until the year 2023. At this point Miami does not seem to have too many bargaining chips to offer the Cavaliers, but but if anyone can snatch a star player from “The Land” it’s Pat Riley, after all he has done it before.
Nevertheless, Miami still has to wonder if Irving is worth the trade. How much can Irving improve the Heat’s chances to compete for the Eastern Conference?
Granted Irving is definitely an explosive offensive player that can average at least 21 points per game, but he is still a defensive liability. 21 year old Winslow isn’t as flashy on offense as Irving, he is not nearly as a great shooter and he is coming off an injury, but he is still considered an elite defender. As for Dragic, Irving is a better shooter, but Dragic is still a well rounded point guard. Taking away two key role players will take away from Miami’s core and defensive edge .
It is no secret the Heat is in dire need of a young player to build its foundation around, after all that was the original plan Cleveland had for Irving until the King made his return home. But is trading two key role players to Cleveland a smart move? Miami has not made much noise in the post season since James took his talents back to Cleveland. Miami only made it to the post season once and was eliminated in the conference semifinals.
Is Irving the player to put the team on his back and carry it to a spot in the post season? History would prove no. When Irving was the marquee player for the Cavs, Cleveland never made it to the post season. Of course back then Irving was a baby still adjusting to the game and now he is a champion, but James had a large part for that championship.
If Miami is looking more long term, Irving is a smart choice to build the team around. He is a great player to lie the foundation and attract other superstars to South Beach , but it won’t happen over night. If Miami can land key players to put around him like power forward Anthony Davis, the future could be bright Miami.
Nevertheless, trading two defensive players to Cleveland could be risky for Miami. Not only are they taking away from its core, but it will add to eastern conference rival the Cavaliers. It is safe to say whatever team LeBron James is on that team is more prone to making it to the NBA Finals. The Cavs are in a drought when it comes to shooters, and losing an explosive shooter like Irving will do some damage. On the other hand adding a well rounded point guard like Dragic and a defensive player like Winslow will add to the Cavs core.
Miami is one of Irving’s preferred locations but recent reports says the Australian born really has his mind set on playing with Kristaps Porziņģis in Madison Square Garden.