<
>
EXCLUSIVE CONTENT
Get ESPN+

Kyrie Irving's maintained value

In many respects, Kyrie Irving is having an under-the-radar season. For the first time in his NBA career, he's playing on a winning team. But in another first, he's no longer the headline-maker for the Cleveland Cavaliers, a designation that falls on Irving's future Hall of Fame teammate, LeBron James. Nevertheless, Irving is enjoying the best season of his career, whether or not people realize it.

Despite establishing himself as one of the best scorers in the league with the ball in his hands, we knew Irving was going to have to cede a chunk of his offensive responsibility to James. To a certain extent that has occurred. In order to make up for the smaller role, Irving would then need to up his offensive efficiency and improve his defense in order to maintain or build upon his established levels of value. Check and check.

The growth in Irving's game over the years has been subtle.