With the shocking news that Kyrie Irving has requested a trade from the Cleveland Cavaliers many are left to wonder– where will he end up? Irving has supposedly given the Cavs front office a list of teams but the Los Angeles Lakers were left off. Instead, he chose the New York Knicks and that can only be for marketing reasons as the Knicks are in no shape to be contenders for at least another 3 years. However, the Lakers could make a move up the Western Conference ladder given the talent they loaded up on this offseason. So why not make a deal for Irving centered around Lonzo Ball and Jordan Clarkson?
While Ball is a rookie, he will give the Cavs the true facilitator they need to keep LeBron James and Kevin Love happy. Irving is a score-first PG. His career scoring average sits at 22 points, however, his assists stands at a mediocre six per game. For some that’s good but for a player with Irving’s skills and the players he has played with they should be much better. With the Lakers signing Kentavious Caldwell-Pope that has made Clarkson almost expendable in Lakers eyes.
Imagine what he could do if he decided to be that player?
In Cleveland, he was blanketed by James who often took control of the offense. On the perimeter, he had Love who often just hurled shots at the rim from 26 feet out with no remorse. If Irving felt the offense was breaking down– his first instinct was to attack the rim and go for self. If he were to slow down, he would see just how dangerous he could be. Maybe, that’s the reason for him wanting out?
To pair Irving in L.A. with the likes of Brandon Ingram, Julius Randle, and Brook Lopez will give Irving a chance to play with the type of players PG’s love. Randle and Lopez are post scorers who loves to sit in the lane, turn and score. Ingram is in the same mold as LeBron and Paul George as all three are athletic but Ingram doesn’t have the ball-handling skills of LeBron and will be forced to let the offense flow through Irving. Lopez has experience playing with a player like Irving during his time in Brooklyn alongside Deron Williams and Lopez still managed to shine.
This could be the move that pushes the Lakers back into the hearts of the fans who has a love/hate relationship with them over the years. Kobe is gone and while Ball is set to take that mantle, Irving has already been atop the mountain a few times. Where Ball will have to learn to be a leader– Irving has been there and done that. If marketing and branding are one of the reasons for the departure out of Cleveland– then what better place than L.A.? The writing is on the wall for the Cavs and Irving may have seen that. However, the Lakers are just getting started on their rebirth and with Irving leading the way, already equipped with a budding rivalry with the likes of Stephen Curry and Russell Westbrook, this could be the beginning of a beautiful relationship between Irving and the Purple & Gold fans.
The Cavs could start over with Ball as their lead guy with LeBron and possibly Jordan Clarkson on the wings which may bode well for them should they meet up with Golden State again for the fourth straight year. Ball may not be a better ball-handler than Irving but he has shown during the Summer League that he has a knack for finding and putting his teammates in the right position to be successful. This is what the Cavs and LeBron need. Remember, LeBron went on a tirade last season saying he wanted a playmaker, knowing that Irving was not. Ball fits that mold and the scoring ability of Clarkson are far better than that of Iman Shumpert and J.R. Smith combined.
With this trade, both teams will come out on top and all players included.
LaVar will be angry that his son will not play for his hometown team but he will take solace in the fact that he may end up with an NBA championship a lot sooner than expected.