Pass or Pursue: Top 10 NBA Free Agents in 2022

Bradley Beal, Deandre Ayton
Bradley Beal, Deandre Ayton / Will Newton/GettyImages
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San Antonio Spurs - NBA Free Agents
Kyrie Irving / Ronald Cortes/GettyImages

3. Kyrie Irving (Player Option)

In a vacuum, Kyrie Irving might be the most talented guy on this list. He's also the most accomplished in terms of championship success. But the Spurs don't look at pure talent without considering other factors like reliability, culture fit, and selflessness. Irving would rank last in all of these categories off the court, and it's not even particularly close.

There's not even a point in talking about the vaccine mandate saga by now -- we all saw how the Brooklyn Nets ended up winning exactly as many playoff games as the Spurs due to poor cohesion. While factors like facing a dominant Celtics team and Steve Nash's coaching inabilities certainly contributed, having Irving available for only 29 games was a pretty severe blow as well.

If Irving's head was fully in the game, he'd be a prime player coveted by everyone. Instead, he has very little trade value right now and it's hard to see any other team gambling on him any time soon. It's hard to think of a worse culture fit for the Spurs organization -- besides maybe the next guy on this list.

Verdict: Hard Pass