Would Current Celtics Be Better Off With LeBron James Or Kyrie Irving?

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The talk of LeBron James considering the Boston Celtics in free agency might be nothing more than speculation, but it’s fair to wonder whether Kyrie Irving would be OK playing alongside the guy whose shadow he wanted to escape last offseason with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Maybe that isn’t the real question, though.

With there being some uncertainty surrounding Irving’s long-term future in Boston, the Celtics instead might want to ponder whether they should consider trading the All-Star point guard. And if they are willing to move Irving, should they do so in conjunction with an effort to land James?

Chris Broussard, Rob Parker and Greg Jennings discussed Irving’s future with the Celtics on Thursday’s episode of FS1’s “Undisputed,” and the conversation soon shifted toward James’ free agency. From there, a hypothetical question emerged: Would the Celtics — as currently constructed — be better off with Irving or James if they had to choose between the two NBA studs?

Parker said he’d take Irving and the current Celtics group, which Broussard and Jennings basically scoffed at. James, after all, is the best player on the planet despite entering his 16th NBA season at age 33.

It’s still an interesting discussion, though, because we’ve already seen Irving thrive in Celtics coach Brad Stevens’ system alongside players like Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Al Horford. And Irving is just 26 years old with far less mileage on his body despite coming off another knee surgery.

Plus, there’s no telling what type of long-term commitment James would be willing to make with Boston, essentially putting the Celtics in a situation similar to the one they’re currently dealing with regarding Irving, who is set to become a free agent next summer.

Again, this seems like nothing more than sports talk radio chatter, rooted in very little beyond James’ much-publicized free agency and Irving’s recent declaration that he has no plans to sign a contract extension with the Celtics this offseason because it doesn’t make sense financially.

But it’s a fun debate, because almost every team across the NBA would kill to sign James, while there’s a legitimate argument to be made that Boston — which took Cleveland to seven games in the Eastern Conference finals without Irving (and Gordon Hayward) — would be best served standing pat and not even considering going after one of the greatest players of all time.

Thumbnail photo via Cary Edmondson/USA TODAY Sports Images

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