3 Non-Kyrie Irving NBA Storylines Happening Now

If you're tired of reading about Kyrie's trade demand, feel free to check out what the Detroit Pistons might have in store for their All-Star center, Andre Drummond.

The Kyrie Irving soap opera is the soap opera that will never end. Or so it seems.

In the last 48 hours, I've written a lengthy article about the disgruntled Cleveland Cavaliers guard, and blabbed about him on our Points in the Paint podcast. But wait, there's more.

LeBron James, who has been dealing with rumors that A) he leaked Irving's trade request, and B) wants to kick Kyrie's butt, finally spoke (or tweeted) out about the whole mess.

This all begs the question, is Kyrie really that good? According to nERD, not so much.

nERD is a numberFire metric that measures the total contribution of a player throughout the course of a season, based on their efficiency. This tells us that last season, when compared to his fellow point guards, Irving ranks at the bottom of the top.

Player nERD
Isaiah Thomas 16.3
Stephen Curry 15.9
Russell Westbrook 15.1
Chris Paul 12.8
Kyle Lowry 11.3
Mike Conley 11.1
Damian Lillard 10.7
Kyrie Irving 8.2

As if finishing eighth wasn't meh enough, Irving's nERD was almost exactly half as good as Thomas'. Is that the kind of guy who can lead a team to a title, or is he a perfect complementary piece for one of the greatest players in NBA history? It's not too late to rescind that trade request, Kyrie. Just saying.

Anyhoo, let's set Kyrie aside for the time being, because there's plenty of other interesting stuff happening in the Association.

1. Dr. Dre's Departure?

Thanks to a distinctly TMZ-ish video from the fine folks at TMZ Sports, we now know that Detroit Pistons All-Star center Andre Drummond might want to pack his bags.

It's baffling that the Pistons would consider moving Drummond. Dig his 2016-17 rankings among centers in the table below.

Category Average Ranking
Points 13.6 12
Rebounds 13.8 2
Blocks 1.1 18
FG% 53% 13
Games Played 81 2
Offensive Reb % 14.61 9
Defensive Reb % 37.3 1
Total Reb % 25.2 1
Usage Rate 22.4 19

He also racked up 49 double-doubles, fifth in the NBA, ahead of DeMarcus Cousins, DeAndre Jordan, and Nikola Jokic.

What this all tells us is that the Pistons have themselves a durable, reliable beast on the boards, one of the few traditional centers in the Association. Dudes like that don't come around every day, so if Detroit moves Drummond, they're doing so at their own risk.

2. B'bye Brandon

As if things weren't tough enough for the eternally rebuilding Phoenix Suns...

In and of itself, losing Brandon Knight isn't a tragedy -- the point guard is a walking injury machine, having averaged 53 games played over the last two seasons, and his 11.0 points-per-game average from last season was the worst of his seven-year career -- but his absence gives the Suns one less trade chip.

For most of the offseason, Suns point guard Eric Bledsoe has been the subject of numerous trade rumors -- for that matter, there were whispers that he could be part of a Kyrie Irving deal -- but Knight's absence leaves Phoenix with just two floor generals, Bledsoe and Tyler Ulis.

If Knight were healthy, Bledsoe could be moved, and Ulis could slide into the starting lineup, with Knight available to back him up. As it is, it looks like the Suns will have to stand pat.

The moral of the story is, don't play in offseason Pro-Am games. Just don't.

3. Texas or Bust for Melo

You think you're tired of hearing about Kyrie Irving's trade request? Imagine how New York Knicks fans must feel about the yakkity-yak surrounding Carmelo Anthony.

Last night, for the jillionth time since the conclusion of the 2016-17 season, Team Melo let it be known that if the 33-year-old forward is going to be traded, it'll be to the Houston Rockets, and that's it.

All of which got me to thinking, would it be possible for Anthony to co-exist with current Rockets James Harden and Chris Paul? After all, there is, as they say, only one ball -- which could be a problem in terms of usage rate.

Player 2016-17 Usage Rate Career Usage Rate
Carmelo Anthony 29.1% 31.4%
James Harden 34.2% 28.0%
Chris Paul 24.4% 24.0%

Their 2016-17 rate adds up to 87.7 (yes, adding usage numbers is kinda silly, but still), which means that whenever this theoretical Big Three is on the floor, ain't nobody else on the Rockets gonna touch the rock.

The whole point of putting together a Big Three is to take down the World Champion Golden State Warriors. A trio of hardcore ball-dominators and 12 other dudes likely won't do it.

So while we're not seeing any actual basketball right now, there's still plenty of NBA drama. Plenty.