Though a trade with the Heat appears unlikely, they made Irving’s list of preferred destinations. They have a replacement point guard (Goran Dragic) and several wings (Justise Winslow, Josh Richardson, Tyler Johnson, Wayne Ellington, Rodney McGruder and Okaro White) who could help Cleveland.
What would Waiters think of Irving getting traded to Miami?
Waiters in an interview with HipHopSince1987 (hat tip: Ryne Nelson of Slam):
It would help. I’m not against that. Just know there’s an alpha male over there too in myself.
I think that’s my biggest thing with everybody. Just, “Oh he got irrational confidence.” Man, I tell everybody, if I can make it from here, I can make it from anywhere. My mom got shot. My dad got shot. C’mon bro. There ain’t nothing that I haven’t seen. Why not? I need that confidence to get through. Every day, I need that confidence to get by. Every day. It ain’t got nothin’ to do with ball. It’s who I am. It was instilled in me, man.
But you know, there’s an alpha male over there already. If you come there, we can boogie together.
First of all, there’s introspection from Waiters I haven’t always heard from him. It’s hard to be irrationally confident if you can take a step back and logically evaluate your own confidence.
Waiters also denied a rift with Irving (which both players always have and was never believable) and said he’s unsurprised by Irving’s trade request. It wouldn’t surprise me if Waiters resents how he was always the villain in the dynamic between himself and Irving when they both share similar mentalities. Nobody would have been surprised by Waiters wanting to leave a winning LeBron-led team to lead his own team. Irving’s trade request shocked the masses.
Of course, perception isn’t the only difference between Waiters and Irving. Irving is way better, which is why most expected Waiters to get in line behind Irving.
There’d be the same expectation in Miami, which seems miserable for everyone involved – even if Waiters says he’s ready to boogie.