Why Kyrie Irving won't be a Sun anytime soon

It's already been a wild offseason full of drama in the NBA with blockbuster trades (Paul George and Chris Paul) and free agency misdirection (Gordon Hayward).

And that was all before reports surfaced last week that Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving had requested a trade from the team, apparently frustrated by playing second fiddle to LeBron James.

Irving's ask comes as a surprise considering how many league players say they'd love to play with James, a willing passer whose all-around talent has been second to none over the last 10-plus years.

Though Irving apparently specified he'd prefer to go to San Antonio, Miami, New York or Minnesota, some have put together trade scenarios that would land him in Phoenix.

That seems pretty exciting, right? A scoring marvel like Irving in purple and orange would pair nicely with Devin Booker, allowing the sharpshooter to work off the ball more.

But as great as it sounds, it's equally unlikely.

The reason the Suns are being brought into the Irving rumor mill is Eric Bledsoe.

Phoenix's own combo guard has been in plenty of trade scenarios over the past year. He's a reasonable target for the Cavaliers as a guy who can get his own shot with two years left on his deal.

The problem is Irving also has just two years left on his deal, plus a third year as a player option.

The Suns aren't on his short list of preferred teams, and he's not likely to move them into a playoff spot, especially considering they'd have to give up more than just Bledsoe to get him. The Western Conference is too loaded and the rest of the team beyond Booker and Irving wouldn't be built out enough.

If they don't even make the playoffs, why would Irving want to re-sign or pick up his option in 2019 to stay with the Suns?

This is part of the problem with Irving's alleged desire to be the alpha dog on a non-Cavaliers team: If he's your best player and there's not a close second- or third-best, he won't be winning many games.

That's not a knock on Irving; it's just the reality of the current NBA with good teams, great teams, superteams and super-duper teams. The Suns don't fit into any of those categories yet, and Irving wouldn't guarantee any change there.

For a young team looking to build into a true championship contender five years down the road, trading for a star likely to leave in two years doesn't make much sense.

© 2017 KPNX-TV


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