The Sixers moved on from James Harden before he even stepped foot on the floor for the team this season. And this was undoubtedly the right decision for the organization. Tyrese Maxey is playing at an All-Star level and needs the ball in his hands to have exponential growth. With the assets received in the Harden trade, the Sixers have the cache to go star-hunting this year, and as unlikely as this trade may seem, Daryl Morey should consider it.
As presently constructed, the Sixers are likely still the third-best team in the Eastern Conference and on schedule to flame out in the Conference Semifinals yet again. With the addition of an All-Star guard to pair with Maxey, that could change and I think that guard may just be Kyrie Irving!
Irving is an extremely controversial player, notably for his off-court antics which have ranged from comical, like the Earth being flat, to downright offensive, with his controversy last season around a movie posted on his social media account. The entire package is hard to convince a team to trade for, but from a purely basketball standpoint, Kyrie is arguably the greatest ball-handler of all time and has a top-5 court vision in the league.
Maxey and Irving on the Sixers would be the best backcourt in the NBA.
We have seen Kyrie often play point guard, but currently in Dallas, he is running shooting guard alongside Luka Doncic. This is something he is familiar with as he has played with LeBron James and James Harden who are both ball-dominant guards. This convinces me that Maxey could still run the point and have the flexibility to alternate with Kyrie if needed.
For years, I have been one of the most staunch detractors of Irving and wanted nothing to do with him. However, he appears to have changed his attitude so far this season. Yes, it is only a month into the season, but Irving is focused on the court and has the Mavericks sitting at the two-seed in the Western Conference. That may have you asking why the Mavs would consider trading him. Let me tell you why.
This Mavericks team is playing with fire. Both Luka and Kyrie are strong personalities and together they were a disaster last year after the All-Star break. I am not convinced at all that this success will last and the Mavs’ top priority is retaining Luka for many years to come. That may mean trading Irving at the trade deadline to appease Luka. Now just imagine the duo of Kyrie and Embiid. The pick-and-roll game would be literally unstoppable.
Kyrie is the perfect guard to pair with Joel Embiid and it would allow Maxey the ability to continue his development with one of the best guards in the game helping him. Love Harden or hate him, he was instrumental in Maxey’s growth and Kyrie could continue that for the young superstar. This trade may seem like a long shot at the moment, but give it some time to develop. The Sixers and Mavericks may be more open to this come February.
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