At the release event for his latest signature shoe, Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James said that he believes Kyrie Irving can be the best point guard in the NBA. He also said that he wants to help Kevin Love become the best power forward in the NBA. Via SI.com - LeBron James takes diet, Cavaliers at Nike 'LeBron 12' unveiling:
"I believe Kyrie can be the best point guard in the league very soon, and Kevin Love is already in the discussion as far as being the best power forward in the league," James said. "We have so many great [power forwards]: Tim Duncan, if he's playing center or power forward, Dirk Nowitzki, LaMarcus Aldridge, Chris Bosh, Pau Gasol is still very good. But that's my vision, to maximize [Love's] potential, and his potential to be the best at his position."
Irving is coming off an outstanding performance with Team USA at the FIBA World Cup in Spain. Irving was the MVP of the tournament as Team USA won the Gold Medal. For the tournament, Irving averaged In nine games, Irving had averages of 12.1 points per game with absurd field goal percentage of 56.3 percent and an even more absurd 60.9 percent shooting from 3-point range. This came on the heels of Irving receiving a five year, $90 million dollar extension this summer.
Love, for his part, is already near the top of his position in the NBA. He's an elite passer, can score both inside and out and is a fantastic rebounder. Questions about his defense, as well as some injury problems, have kept him from separating himself from the pack.
James' sentiment about Irving also isn't an unreasonable thought. While he hasn't been perfect and still has some areas for improvement, Irving is an All-Star MVP, a former Rookie of the Year and has looked excellent on almost every big stage he has played on. There are some valid concerns about Irving - his defense, for one - but he's an elite ball handler, a very good shooter and has a very high upside on offense.
As Grantland's Zach Lowe wrote a few months back, he's two years younger than Damian Lillard and has a higher ceiling. It's almost a guarantee that he looks better in the context of the new roster as opposed to the team he has played with in this first three seasons.