The Kyrie Irving daily drama continues to grow. After Stephen A. Smith reported that sources close to LeBron James said that he wanted to “beat his a–” the next time he saw Irving, James denied the report in a tweet.
Irving and James also both reportedly unfollowed each other on social media. It appears that Irving’s time in Cleveland is all but over. Here are the top five potential landing spots for him in a trade.
5) Atlanta Hawks
The Hawks are a team that has cleaned house by trading Dwight Howard and letting Paul Millsap go in free agency. Atlanta is a city that has proven it will support a team with a superstar and it has been starving for one on the Hawks since the days of Dominique Wilkins. Now that the team has an open spot for a superstar, a renovated arena in a city like Atlanta, Irving certainly has the opportunity to build his own franchise with the Hawks.
4) San Antonio Spurs
He won’t be the best player on his team playing alongside a top five talent like Kawhi Leonard. However, he has the chance to be a face of a new Spurs dynasty era for Gregg Popovich. If he wants to create his own legacy and not in the shadows of one of the league’s most iconic players ever, San Antonio could be a great fit for him.
3) New York Knicks
Yes, the Knicks are a mess. However, the team is still the No. 1 most valuable franchise in the NBA, with a net worth of $3.3 billion, according to a February report in Forbes. Irving can not only be the undoubted star in the Big Apple with the inevitable departure of Carmelo Anthony being on the horizon, he can become a legend in basketball by bringing New York basketball back to excellence.
2) Phoenix Suns
Considering the number of assets, this team is probably the most realistic destination. The Suns have been stuck in the NBA’s “no man’s land” since the departure of Steve Nash in 2012. Irving can become a part of the great training facility in Phoenix and he would certainly be the focus of the Suns’ franchise.
1) Minnesota Timberwolves
The Timberwolves have slowly become a popular destination for NBA players this summer. With the trade for All-Star Jimmy Butler and the signings of former All-Star Jeff Teague and former two-time Sixth Man of the Year Jamal Crawford, the Timberwolves propel themselves into the top tier of the Western Conference immediately. The part that makes this destination unlikely is all of the assets the Timberwolves already traded away to acquire Butler from the Chicago Bulls in last month’s draft.