Blog Entry

Report: Irving leaning towards entering draft

Posted on: April 1, 2011 9:33 am
Kyrie Irving is reportedly leaning towards entering his name in the 2011 NBA Draft.
Posted by Matt Moore

Kyrie Irving had a great season for Duke. That you can say that considering he missed almost the entirety of the season with a foot injury shows you just how good he was. When Irving returned for the NCAA tournament, there was concerned he would be rusty. Instead, he was his usual brilliant self. Duke's early exit from the tournament thanks to Derrick Williams and company for Arizona was the only thing stopping a fairytale story. But having missed so much of the season, would Irving want to wait to assure himself the top pick? Would the likely lockout prevent him from making the jump to the pros this soon?

Apparently not. 

ESPN reports that Irving is "leaning strongly toward declaring for the NBA Draft."  With Jared Sullinger stating publicly and emphatically that he's returning to Ohio State, it would pretty much be down to a two-man race for the No. 1 overall pick in the draft. From there it would really just end up as a question of need for the team in the top spot. 

The lockout complicates matters here. If Irving does declare, he'll be drafted before the current CBA expires, but will not have his contract negotiated until after the lockout. So the question of whether he'll be under current or new salary structures for rookies is unclear. An interesting note, however. NBA players are paid on various calendars, but in most cases, rookies don't receive their first check until November. So should a lockout extend for six months, say until the beginning of 2012, Irving would only really lose two paychecks in that scenario, as opposed to six. 

Irving has the complete package. Prior to the summer of 2010, Brandon Knight was considered the top freshman point guard and expected top overall pick. But Irving absolutely exploded in summer play, and then showed even more on the national stage at Duke. He's at an elite level in terms of touch, speed, agility, handle, and play-making ability. He doesn't have John Wall's vision, but he has a better jump shot to start. He's a total package, provided that his foot checks out after a physical. 

Should the Cavaliers land the top spot based off what will be the worst record in the league, it's easy to see them passing on Irving. Not only do they have salary tied into Baron Davis and Ramon Sessions, but going for a big is the more traditional route. The Kings, however, would likely love to find Irving available. That scenario could lead to Tyreke Evans moving to small forward, creating a devastating lineup of Irving, Marcus Thornton, and Evans, with DeMarcus Cousins down low. That's Thunder 2008 stuff. 

Irving could still decide to return next season, should his foot have issues, draft evaluations come back lower than expected, or Coach K pulls some Magic, again.  But with Austin Rivers as widely acclaimed entering the season, the logical choice is to make the jump, take the money now, and ensure a high pick. Irving looks every bit the next NBA star. 

Since: Dec 27, 2008
Posted on: April 4, 2011 12:08 pm

Report: Irving leaning towards entering draft

Brandon Knight is 50x better than this kid. So his Jeremy Lamb.
One of the dumbest statements I have ever read. Really, Jeremy Lamb and brandon Knight better than Kyrie????? You theycallmepro are a dumbass.

Since: Mar 13, 2007
Posted on: April 2, 2011 1:08 pm

Report: Irving leaning towards entering draft

Obviously coming from a Jalen Rose disciple.  By the way,  who was Jalen Rose,  he and his Fabricated Five are not even in the record books.  Never existed.  He doesn't exist according to the NCAA.  Thats a real credible source you're quoting from there - Uncle Tom.

Since: Mar 13, 2007
Posted on: April 2, 2011 1:07 pm

Report: Irving leaning towards entering draft

Obviously coming from a Jalen Rose disciple.  By the way,  who was Jalen Rose,  he and his Fabricated Five are not even in the record books.  Never existed.  He doesn't exist according to the NCAA.  Thats a real credible source you're quoting from there - Uncle Tom.

Since: Mar 25, 2011
Posted on: April 2, 2011 8:40 am
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Mar 15, 2011
Posted on: April 2, 2011 2:22 am

Report: Irving leaning towards entering draft

Why not go pro? He was single handedly Dukes best player this season and he didn't play all but 11 games this season. When he was completely healthy at the beginning of the season, people were talking about Duke going undefeated because of his presence on the court for the Blue Devils. This kid is above and beyond any freshmen I have seen in a long time. He is so shifty, can spot up from just about anywhere, can cut to the rim and go up strong with it, and leading a team that already has Nolan Smith. This freshman could easily hold his own in the NBA and lead a team with a solid supporting cast. He reminds me of a scoring Rondo. Because Rondo knows how to lead a team and make a system work, but isn't the best scoring point guard in the league, while Irving had the best three point percentage on the whole Duke roster. So all that to say, the dude should go pro because there is no way this guy gets drafted outside of the top 10 picks.

Since: Sep 10, 2006
Posted on: April 2, 2011 1:22 am

Report: Irving leaning towards entering draft

Lets get on thing straight all you Duke haters...saying Duke will be bad next year because they will be losing one player early, and 2 seniors to the NBA is crazy...they lost 3 starters from last years title team...Sheyer, Thomas and Zoubek and had a solid season this year...after being runners up in 1999...Duke lost senior, Trajon Langdon, Soph Elton Brand, Soph William Avery, and Frosh Corey Magette in 2000, all starters. The very next year they were a #1 seed and went to the sweet 16...they also won the ACC regular season title and the ACC tourney that year 2001 they won the title....I would argue that the talent they have currently without Irving and with the guys coming in that history could easily repeat itself...Hate on Duke all you want but they have one of, if not the best, coach's to ever coach the game. Never ever say they will suck....they will contend for the ACC and a #1 seed next year....I do think UNC will be the best team BUT Duke will contend because Coach K is the better coach, Roy is good but Coach K is better.

Since: Sep 4, 2009
Posted on: April 2, 2011 12:48 am

Report: Irving leaning towards entering draft

Rivers is a BALL HOG!!! Him and Irving, with Curry, would be a disaster! I could see punches being thrown if that trio spent a season together. Not enough shots to go around...too many egos to go around!

Since: Jan 19, 2008
Posted on: April 1, 2011 10:05 pm

Report: Irving leaning towards entering draft

i am more worried about Quinn Cook, he ate Rivers lunch at the Mcds game.  hairston can make a big difference at UNC, he can shoot from outside, a new concept.

Since: Feb 5, 2008
Posted on: April 1, 2011 9:18 pm

Report: Irving leaning towards entering draft

And UNC has plenty of guys who can guard Rivers, trust me.
Haha.  Trust me, there aren't "plenty of guys" in college basketball next year that can actually guard Austin Rivers.  He may have a poor shooting night and only get 10-12 points, but even that will be probably be rare. Lightning quick first step and deadly from near "Jimmer Range"(aka JJ range to Duke fans) makes him a scorer teams will have to double team to slow down.  He's a 1 man show, but will not have to be at Duke.
Which brings me to my next point.  This article, and the one on ESPN, does not qoute anything or anyone as to why they say Irving is 'leaning'-its just a publicity article. He hasn't spoken about the draft to anyone except his dad since the tournament ended and his teammates, for the most part, don't know his thoughts on it, either.  He's back home this weekend in Jersey having fun with his friends and family and will most definitely sit down and talk about it seriously with his father.  My take-given the fact he played 11 games and ended with the team losing so badly to Arizona coupled with his friendship with Austin Rivers and the looming NBA lockout, I'd think Kyrie and his father make the smart decision to return for another year at Duke. Let there be no doubt-his father is the number 1 most influential person in his life. I think Kyrie wants to stay as of right now, and his father is scared after the injury and wants him to go.  I think in the end, Kyrie wins and he stays.  Don't misconstrue my comments-I'm in no way saying his father wants to 'cash in on him while he can' I just think that right now he is worried about another injury hurting the basketball future completely.  
Also-Carolina fans better be careful.  Henson, Zeller, and Barnes have not come out and said they are staying yet.  I believe that 2 of the 3 will not be in Carolina blue next year. I know you all want to believe Barnes but before his recruitment ended he said lots of different things to indicate he was going to somewhere besides Carolina. Its not official until April 24th with Barnes.  Zeller and Henson are two of the best big men and with Sullinger saying he's not going anywhere they might think a little harder about their statuses.  They could all be back, but they could all be gone. (though i dont expect all of them to go)
Watch out for Florida State and Clemson to overtake Duke. It will be a batte for second place.
Haha.  Duke's also about to land a wing named Daniels for next year. He's going to be a contributor also. Singler and Smith are gone and thats big, no doubt.  But Curry got better all year. Just being a Curry makes that scary. He did pretty well against Carolina this year, too.  Mason and Miles work extremely hard.  Mason is still projected top 10 draft pick because of his athleticism, though don't pretend to believe he's leaving. Mason is going to develop more offensive skills and better game decisions. He's great in practice, just doesn't carry it over. He will.  Next year will not be a rebuilding year where we miss the tournament or even come close to not being competitive with Carolina, with or without Irving. Though, with Irving, it's been joked about that Duke would be better than the Cavs. Joked about-not saying I agree. Plain and simple-don't underestimate Duke simply on whether or not Irving stays. The guys there are capable of winning the ACC. 

Since: Mar 17, 2009
Posted on: April 1, 2011 8:59 pm

Report: Irving leaning towards entering draft

Wow I barely type on here so I understand how my level is amateur, but how in the world is your level superstar with such pathetic posts as that.  For one thing please check your spelling.  What is a gaurd?  I made the statement that Irving and Rivers would probably be the best backcourt in the country, but to think they would be a favorite over UNC is just crazy.  UNC will have their entire team back along with adding a solid player in McAdoo.  Duke loses their two best players (with the exception of maybe Irving that didn't play much due to injury). 

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