LeBron James Says Kyrie Irving Should Be in 2016-17 NBA MVP Conversation

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistNovember 1, 2016

Oct 8, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving (2) controls the ball against the Philadelphia 76ers in the first half at Quicken Loans Arena. The Cavaliers won 108-105. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Kyrie Irving has already hit the game-winning shot in Game 7 of the NBA Finals, played in three NBA All-Star Games and won an Olympic gold medal, so it's about time the Cleveland Cavaliers point guard adds an MVP to his ever-expanding mantle. 

According to LeBron James, Irving appears ready to take that leap into the MVP mix this season. 

“(Irving's) ability to lead a team and his ability to score and get guys involved, we’re going to continue to improve as a team, we’re going to be right up there with the league leaders in wins, so why not?" James said, per Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal.

James went on to say Irving "hasn’t even gotten to his prime yet" at just 24 years old. 

The 2016-17 NBA season is only three games old, but Irving is off to a fantastic start. He's averaging 25 points, four rebounds and four assists per game while shooting a robust 46 percent from the field (50 percent from three-point range). 

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After Tyronn Lue took over as Cavs head coach last January, he told Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com about a conversation the two had regarding the way he wanted to see Irving play: 

"I just want him to attack," Lue said. "Attack first and if it opens up to an assist, then we'll make the play. But I just don't think nobody can stop him one-on-one, so I just want him to get back to being confident and playing the way he's capable of playing."

One of the big obstacles that has stood in Irving's path to greatness is health. He's missed at least 15 games three times in his first five seasons, including 29 last year while he recovered from a fractured kneecap suffered in the NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors. 

When Irving is on the floor, he's one of the most dynamic players in the NBA. He's averaged at least 20 points and five assists per game three times in his career and has no problem stepping up for his team in a huge moment. 

There are going to be a lot of contenders for the NBA's MVP award this season, including James, but it shouldn't be a surprise to anyone if Irving finds himself at the top of most ballots by the time this season ends. 

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