I have also heard that the Rockets, in the event that they are unable to lure Harden away from Philadelphia and back to Houston, plan to weigh a run at Dallas’ Kyrie Irving.
Irving certainly comes with baggage, but he’s a dynamic on-court player. In the 2022-23 campaign with the Mavericks and Brooklyn Nets, he averaged 27.1 points (49.4% FG, 37.9% on 3-pointers), 5.5 assists, 5.1 rebounds, and 2.1 turnovers in 37.4 minutes per game.
In contrast to Harden, who turns 34 in August, the 31-year-old Irving could be a better candidate for a multi-year contract — since his age-related decline likely isn’t as imminent. Irving also appears to have a strong relationship with young Rockets guard Jalen Green.
For the Rockets, it’s simply a question of whether Irving’s upside as a player is worth the baggage in the eyes of general manager Rafael Stone and new head coach Ime Udoka. For Irving, the question is whether he’s truly interested in joining a young, rebuilding team, or if perhaps he’s looking to use Houston’s potential interest as leverage for a better deal with Dallas or some other probable playoff team.
Time will tell, but it’s an interesting storyline to monitor as the league’s June 30 opening for free agency negotiations looms.
Rockets rookie Jalen Green impressed by Nets star Kyrie Irving, on and off court
Kyrie Irving impressed by ultra-talented Rockets duo of Jalen Green, Kevin Porter Jr.
Source: Yahoo Sports