Best and worst landing spots for Durant, Irving and Mitchell from a Phoenix Suns’ perspective

Phoenix Suns, Devin Booker. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Phoenix Suns, Devin Booker. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports /
3 of 4
Phoenix Suns, Devin Booker
Devin Booker and Kyrie Irving, Phoenix Suns. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports /

The best and worst landing spots for Kyrie Irving from a Phoenix Suns’ perspective

Irving’s unpredictable nature and now short-term contract situation makes his trade value hard to gauge, particularly when he remains a productive player when on the floor. Despite all the antics around the COVID vaccine, and subsequently playing just 29 regular season games, Irving did average an equal career-high 27.4 points per game on a career-best 41.8% from three-point range.

With the vaccine mandate no longer, Irving could be ready to spring back to the kind of consistent, All-Star productivity that makes him a dangerous proposition to face, and a lucrative one for a team to acquire.

Best Case: Remains at the Brooklyn Nets or is traded elsewhere in the East

Phoenix’s best case scenario is that the current dysfunction in Brooklyn remains for a while longer. That includes Irving staying at the franchise, with the seven-time All-Star’s questionable leadership unlikely to turn things around in a major way.

If he does get traded, again, Phoenix would hope he remains in the Eastern Conference. Which team would be willing to take him on is a different question, but at the point the Suns wouldn’t really care.

Worst Case: Traded to the Los Angeles Lakers or any other team in the West

The Lakers have their own functionality issue as they seek to move off Russell Westbrook, his enormous $47 million contract, and the on-court fit issues next to LeBron James and Anthony Davis. As presently constructed, they simply just don’t have a good team around their aging and often injured stars.

Replacing Westbrook with Irving is no guarantee of success, but it would make them a much better team and one with certain wildcard factor. If you face the Lakers with that trio fit and firing, expect an enormously tough battle.