The star the Detroit Pistons should avoid at all costs

Kyrie Irving #11 of the Brooklyn Nets defends against Cade Cunningham #2 of the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
Kyrie Irving #11 of the Brooklyn Nets defends against Cade Cunningham #2 of the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images) /

It’s no secret that the Detroit Pistons would love to add more guard talent around Cade Cunningham.

It’s also no secret that Detroit will have cap space this summer, a top-7 pick in the 2022 NBA Draft and some trade possibilities.

That has led to a LOT of speculation (I know, I’ve been doing a lot of it) including an unlikely scenario where the Pistons land controversial star Kyrie Irving.

To be honest, this is so unlikely that is hardly warrants discussion. Kyrie would be out of his mind to decline his $36 million player option, as there will be more teams with cap space in 2023 and he can probably get a more lucrative long-term deal if he just waits and plays out his current contract.

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But would anything Irving does surprise you at this point? He could decline his option in favor of more guaranteed money, or could opt in and be traded by the Nets. Chances are he just exercises his option and stays put though Nets’ GM Sean Marks made some recent comments that opened the door for speculation:

"“We know what we’re looking for: We’ve looking for guys that want to come in here and be part of something bigger than themselves, play selfless, play team basketball and be available. That goes not only for Kyrie, but for everybody here.”"

He further called out Kyrie Irving, fanning the rumor flames that the Nets are not going to offer him an extension unless there is some more commitment to the team and being available:

"“Some are avoidable, and other excuses are of individual nature and those are the ones that we have to try and avoid. We need people here that want to be here, that are selfless, that want to be part of something bigger than themselves. There’s an objective and there’s a goal at stake here. In order to do that, we’re going to need availability from everybody.”"

This doesn’t sound like a GM who is sold on his star guard, and as one of the few teams with cap space, the Detroit Pistons could try to get involved.

But they shouldn’t.

The last thing the Detroit Pistons need is Kyrie Irving

I should first say that I think Kyrie is a unique talent, one of the top-10 or 15 point guards of all time and I enjoy watching him play at times.

But he has missed 123 games in the last three seasons, more than he has played. Injuries happen, but Kyrie has not just sat out for injuries. He’s had “personal leave” and then missed almost all of his team’s home games because he refused to take the COVID-19 vaccine.

As dumb as I think that choice is, it is his to make, but do you really want this guy’s politics and controversy to be hanging over the Pistons? Me either. It doesn’t matter what you believe, it’s a fact that Kyrie would be front and center on every headline about the Pistons, which is the last thing a young, rebuilding team needs.

Also, are we even sure he’s a good fit? He’s a gifted scorer, but not much for sharing the ball, which would undoubtedly take the ball out of Cade Cunningham’s hands. Kyrie Irving would definitely make the Detroit Pistons better in the short term, but possibly at the expense of player development, as all of their young guys would be relegated to playing second fiddle to Kyrie, who would want to be the #1 option. No thanks.

I get that we are in a down time of the offseason, which leads to some out there conversations (which I enjoy by the way) but this one makes no sense to me.

The Detroit Pistons are building a team of guys who like each other, are on the same timeline and are unselfish players who want to do what’s best for each other and the team. As bad as they were this season, there was no drama. Compare that to the Nets, the NBA’s ongoing reality show.

Adding Kyrie Irving would be a middle finger to the culture the Pistons are building.

It’s not going to happen anyway, but even if Irving did become available the Detroit Pistons should be nowhere near him.

Great player. Wrong team.

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