Former Boston Celtics coach and current Los Angeles Clippers head honcho Doc Rivers is a fan of the Kyrie Irving trade.
More specifically, he believes Boston is the ideal landing spot for the All-Star floor general.
The Clippers head coach was back in town Wednesday to host the annual ABCD Hoops Dream fundraiser at TD Garden and spoke in glowing terms about Boston’s new point guard. “This is a perfect situation [for Irving], other than LA,” Rivers said with a laugh. “This is a perfect situation for him. Celtics gave up a lot to get him, but he’s 25 years old and that’s the other thing people forget about: He’s so young. He’s going to be a star here for a long time.”
Rivers makes a simple, yet poignant, point when assessing this trade—one that can fall by the wayside or not be weighted heavily enough in bar-stool debates: Kyrie Irving is still so damn young. He’s 25. He won’t turn 26 until March. No, he hasn’t developed into a franchise-ferrying point guard, but he’s one of the NBA’s best one-on-one scorers in recent memory, and his ceiling may have been curtailed a tad, at the individual level, while playing beside the polarizing and ball-dominant LeBron James.
As someone who wasn’t really a fan of what the Celtics gave up, even I recognize this much. This is one of those deals that cannot be truly graded for another two or more years, once all the involved pieces settle and every team has had time to groom and digest and interpret their return.
Maybe Irving improves by leaps and bounds in Boston, reinventing his game in ways he never would have with the Cleveland Cavaliers. I mean, if it’s going to happen, it’ll be with the Celtics, under head coach Brad Stevens, who has a knack for extracting as much value as possible from those he’s charged with overseeing.
In the end, then, Doc Rivers might be right: Boston may be the perfect situation for Irving. At the very least, for the time being, he’s not wrong.