The only way this Kyrie Irving trade request story makes any sense at all is if he demands to go to Houston. And gets there.
Yes, Houston. Home of James Harden. Potential future home of Carmelo Anthony. The Place Where Passing Goes To Die. The Antidote To Everything Warriors.
I mean, Irving reading the tea leaves and knowing the Cavs are about to enter a very dark period in their history is not the news here. Dan Gilbert no longer caring about running a basketball operation without empty offices has been the catalyst for LeBron James looking forward to life on the West Coast. The Cavs are a sinkhole collapsing so fast that the assumptions of them cakewalking to the 2018 NBA Finals are heading directly for the earth’s core.
But it’s where Irving goes that is fascinating, and Houston is the perfect place because (and we are presuming Daryl Morey can pry Anthony from the joke shop that is the New York Knickerbockers):
1) It would turn Golden State’s version of cap hell into a slight checking overdraft by comparison
2) It would make the Rockets’ offense a high-powered mess of glorious proportions
3) It would subject the Warriors to a direct stylistic showdown – namely, whether rapid, smart-minded ball movement is just a fad to be replacing by 21st century offensive stagflation.
Oh, Harden can pass, and Irving can pass, and Anthony . . . well, okay, Harden and Irving can pass. But they all function almost entirely with the ball, which means that at any given moment 66 percent of the Rockets’ most important players will be unhappy.
Thus, this is what we need, and what we need now. Trading Kyrie Irving is just satisfying his whim. Trading him to a place where we can put competing basketball styles to the test – now that would make the Western Conference playoffs worth caring about again.
And the Eastern Conference? Well, we’ve always wanted a relegation system in American sports, and now we’ve got it. Just fly toward the sun and hold your nose.