The case for Kyrie Irving
Kyrie Irving has had a controversial 13-year NBA career. From being the former Cleveland Cavaliers poster child to becoming disgruntled and demanding a trade from every team he has played for, Irving has bounced around.
He has also had several off-the-court issues that range from health to availability. That's why many were scratching their heads at the Mavericks' recent addition of Kyrie Irving.
However, Irving's on-court product should never be questioned. The eight-time all-star, 2016 NBA champion, and 2012 Rookie of the Year would be an absolute snag at the price the Mavericks acquired him for if it wasn't for his recent "scuffle" with the Brooklyn Nets organization.
While in Dallas, Irving put up solid numbers alongside Luka Doncic, including a March 2 thriller against the Philadelphia 76ers where both Irving and Doncic put up a dazzling 40-plus points each.
Since Irving has played in Dallas and most recently just resigned to stay in Dallas for an additional three years, the Mavericks haven't had the team success that they expected to see when they traded for Irving. On the plus side, Irving did alleviate Doncic's many duties, and in fact, the two had a pretty positive influence on each other when playing alongside one another.
It's safe to assume that adding Irving's veteran leadership alongside Doncic has made the partnership a pretty respectable duo. In fact, some may say that Irving's presence has made Luka more mature, as seen in some of his post-game interviews.
This, in addition to the on-play performance of the two, proves why Irving is better for Doncic's career and his development within the NBA.
Despite Irving's small sample size in Dallas, he is still the best teammate that Doncic has ever played alongside. Irving's new contract will allow him to flourish for an additional three years in Dallas while being the second fiddle next to Doncic.