Kyrie Irving Could Be A Perfect Fit In Utah
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – It was widely reported during the NBA trade deadline that the Utah Jazz were trying to upgrade the roster at the point guard position. The team was in negotiations to acquire the Memphis Grizzlies’ Mike Conley but it didn’t happen, meaning that the Jazz would have to wait until the summer to make a move.
However, due to recently transpired events in the league, it’s not Conley that the Jazz should pursue come time. Rather, the Jazz should go all-in and make the biggest acquisition of the franchise’s history this summer.
The Jazz should move to acquire All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving.
It would be the best move possible for both the Jazz and Irving.
One of the NBA’s most skilled ball handlers and scorers, Irving has recently spoken out on the pressure he feels by playing in one of the league’s largest markets, Boston. The Celtics have struggled this season, falling way below expectations and Irving has received the brunt of scrutiny from the demanding New England media. Even the stanchest of Celtics fans, The Ringer’s Bill Simmons, wants Irving gone.
It’s weighing heavily on the All-Star guard, who said recently, “ I didn’t really come into this game to (have) cameras in my face, be famous, be a celebrity, whatever embodies that. It’s a little hard for me.”
It’s a bit of a hypocritical statement by Irving, considering that he starred in a big-budget, full-length movie, Uncle Drew, not too long ago. Still, rumors have circulated that Irving will decline the final year of his contract and sign with the New York Knicks, even though he said he would re-sign with Boston earlier in the year.
Well, if you’re reading this, Mr. Irving, let’s make this clear. It’s not going to get any better to face the media in New York. Perhaps you’ve heard of ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith, the most outspoken man in sports media and a faithful supporter of the Knicks.
Continuing that particular interview with the media, Irving kept lamenting his celebrity, saying, “I wanted those things when I was younger, but now, I just want to play basketball at a very high level.”
If he really means what he says, the smart move for Irving’s personality and desire to play hoops at the highest level is to sign with the Utah Jazz, who play in the NBA’s smallest media market.
In Utah, the media exposure is not nearly as intense. The biggest commitment Irving would have to make are commercials for Zions Bank and Vivint Smart Home. Clearly he loves being on camera, even if he doesn’t want to admit it and that should satisfy his urges.
Around here, Jazzmen can do no wrong and are rarely criticized by the fans and the media to the extent that players in Boston, New York or Los Angeles are. It would do wonders for Irving’s mental health and let him focus on what he supposedly wants to work on, playing at a high level.
Forming a backcourt with the Jazz’s second-year star, Donovan Mitchell, Irving could be the fire to Mitchell’s ice. It would be an incredibly fun and potentially dominant combination to watch. Couple the two of them with the reigning defensive player of the year in Rudy Gobert and the small-market Jazz could have the best big three combination in the game, in addition to the depth the team currently possesses. Landing Irving could set Utah up for not only championship contention, but also for a potential dynasty.
It’s interesting to note that Irving was born in Australia, same as Jazz fan favorite Joe Ingles and the often-injured but still talented Dante Exum.
Also, it would be terrifically fun for the Jazz to take a player from the Celtics after Boston signed a player from Utah a couple years ago. Gordon Haywood was his name, right?
The connections and reasons for Irving to sign with Utah just keep stacking up.
It would be undoubtedly the biggest acquisition in team history should the Jazz pursue and land Irving. It seems improbable, but the team should definitely go for it this summer. It might be a match made in basketball heaven.