In the newest episode of The Lowe Post with ESPN’s Zach Lowe and special guest Howard Beck, the two discussed the recent Kyrie Irving trade.
Lowe and Beck speculated at the overall value of Irving to the Boston Celtics and his former team, the Cleveland Cavaliers. How does he compare to other star players (e.g. Chris Paul, Paul George, Jimmy Butler and DeMarcus Cousins) who were recently traded?
Each move should be evaluated in its own sphere. In a recent column, Lowe also hinted at the question of whether Irving is the right player to help finalize a perennial contender.
Lowe, who asked coaches and executives and scouts, extrapolated on this in the podcast with Beck (via ESPN):
“Most people are pretty iffy on whether he’s the right guy to build around. Yes, he’s only 25. But when I brought up his age, the first thing people said back to me is he’s six years in the league … We kind of know who Kyrie Irving is — doesn’t mean he can’t grow.”
Basketball minds seemed to agree that Irving is perhaps the best “one-on-five scorer” in the NBA. Some worried he may not be the playmaker and leading man that is needed to win a title.
Lowe and Beck agreed that they have both heard Irving is more of a “difficult personality” (for example, he reportedly did not talk to his teammates for an extended period of time during the 2017 postseason) than some may hope.
Later in the podcast, Lowe says some who were most bullish about the deal were those who worked closely with the young point guard in Cleveland. Of course, those have seen his maturation and evolution as an individual and as a player.
The situation has dramatically changed now that Irving will play for an entirely new organization and head coach. He will also play outside the shadow of LeBron James.