A report came out the other day that Kyrie has made it known to a few sources that he has no intention to return back to the Celtics. While we may have seen it coming a mile away for awhile based not only on his words off the court, but his play recently for the Celtics indicated that he did not wish to remain with the team. It sets a huge precedent for the future, since this will now be the second time that Kyrie has decided to walk away from from a franchise after insisting to be the face of said franchise. With his third “face of the franchise” tour upcoming, it is interesting to see what will occur. As has remained unchanged, there are three front runners for the services of the All-Star point guard: the Brooklyn Nets, the Los Angeles Lakers, and the New York Knicks.
The least enticing option for Kyrie right now seems to be the Brooklyn Nets, even though the Nets are the second favorites to land Kevin Durant. The Nets possess two amazing guard options and an All-Star guard already. Sure, the organization has said that they can envision an Irving-Russell lineup working for them. However, I don’t think Kyrie can see that working. Having another All-Star, and face of a franchise, at YOUR position will always provide an undercurrent of “the other guy is better than you”, and I don’t think Kyrie can handle that. He couldn’t handle LeBron being the star, and he couldn’t handle being in Celtics’ ecosystem. What makes people think that he will even do more than entertain the option of signing with the Nets?
LeBron and Kyrie, on the other hand, were an amazing pair when they were in Cleveland. After all, they broke up the title curse that hung over the city, and brought the first title to the Cavaliers organization. The Lakers know this, and undoubtedly want to have this be the future of the organization. Sure, the Lakers would love to have a Kyrie-Klay-LeBron-*insert scrub*-AD lineup step on the court next season. Unfortunately, that doesn’t seem to be able to happen due to cap space implications. Klay and AD are their number one priorities heading into the draft and free agency, leaving Kyrie by the wayside. If the Lakers were able to sign Klay, and trade everything not nailed down for AD, that would leave anywhere between $10-20 mil to sign Kyrie. This is not factoring in having to extend AD or sign other players to fill out there roster, and this is with them only acquiring AD in the trade. While LeBron would love to get his “little brother” back to run the court with him, I don’t think the Lakers could afford Kyrie’s asking price contract wise.
The prime frontrunner currently for Kyrie’s services will be Knicks. With the rumored AD package for the Knicks supposed to be “substantial”, a potential Kyrie-KD-AD lineup may be seen in our timeline. However, how will Kyrie handle being third fiddle on said team? I’m his ego, his team, his agent, and the Knicks are convincing him that he won’t be third fiddle, but I can’t see any other way. KD had an under appreciated MVP-caliber season on top of his amazing finals run. Tie in the fact that AD was an amazing player two seasons ago and the dozen games (exaggeration) he played this year, I can’t see Kyrie “The Earth Is Flat” Irving be able to emerge from under their shadows.