Should the Phoenix Suns be trading for Kyrie Irving?
Sure — as long as Josh Jackson is completely OFF the table. Spoiler: he won’t be.
~All rumors suggest he is ON the Cavaliers wish list.~
You can’t begin to justify moving a guy you just drafted 5 weeks ago, who showed his incredibly high ceiling throughout the Summer League, and is currently playing the PREMIER position in the NBA.
Owner, Robert Sarver said last Friday, “We’re going to be patient and grow with this group.” Obviously, this is going to take some time. These are kids playing a grown man’s game. Tenure and success doesn’t come along overnight in the association.
If Suns GM, John McDonough and Robert Sarver are indeed serious about building something sustainable, you CANNOT trade for a ball dominant “point guard,” just to watch him skip town two years down the line.
Following the 2019 season Kyrie will be an unrestricted free agent and will likely fetch a huge deal. A deal Phoenix will probably be unable to match due to their inevitable lack of cap space, provided they extend both Booker and Chriss to long-term deals. So Kyrie bolts for a bigger bag and what are you left with?
Frankly, I don’t see the Irving/Booker backcourt meshing whatsoever. Kyrie demonstrated himself as a shoot-first guard while in Cleveland. Simply put, Irving needs the ball in his hands to be most effective and will absolutely dribble the air out of the ball if you let him.
However, the Suns have made it clear Devin Booker is the new face of the franchise. The offensive philosophy would be to rim run in transition. Ideally in the half-court, the offense would flow through Booker with Marquise Chriss and Josh Jackson as your two athletic wings who have a nose for the rim. With Kyrie in the mix, the offense will slow, guys will get caught standing around ball-watching, wooed by Irving’s fancy dribbling, until the ball eventually finds one of them with less than 5 seconds on the shot clock. You get the picture.
The core of Booker, Chriss and Jackson are players under 21, under team control, and who can collectively develop into a dynamic shooting guard, small forward and power forward in this league. Remember, long-term longevity is the name of the game.
A reach for Kyrie will cost them their biggest asset moving forward. And for what? To sell extra tickets for two measly seasons? Fear not, asses will find seats. No doubt this won’t be a very good Suns team, but I’ll be damned if they won’t be entertaining as hell to watch. Rest assure, as the season progresses they will naturally improve along the way. In the mean time, high flying, rim rattling, posterizing plays will be a nightly occurrence at Talking Stick Resort Arena.
Not to be TOO dramatic, but to be very clear, mortgaging your future by leveraging your most valuable asset is organizational suicide. Trust #TheTimeline.
Last thing: they say, “it’s a guard league now” blah, blah, blah. You do need strong guard play, but to contend in the Western Conference a star swingman is a necessity. Ultimately, you need that superstar small forward to compete for titles. And that’s what I believe Josh Jackson can potentially become.
So if Josh Jackson is the asking price, do us all a favor McDonough and HANG UP THE DAMN PHONE!
Have a nice day.