Sportress of Blogitude

Is there a dark horse lurking in Kyrie Irving sweepstakes?

Kyrie Irving is widely expected to exercise his player option and become a free agent in June. While that does not assure that Irving will leave the Boston Celtics — though all indications suggest that he will — an NBA insider recently indicated there may be a dark horse candidate in the Irving sweepstakes that has yet to be mentioned.

Amid the Irving free-agency speculation, ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne believes a team on no one’s radar may be a “great fit” for the enigmatic superstar point guard.

“I just see a world in which he goes to the Phoenix Suns, where that is such a great fit for him,” Shelburne said on ESPN’s “The Jump” this week. “… We tried this this year, where Kyrie goes into a situation where he tries to be a leader, he tries to carry a team to the next level, to get back to a championship. It didn’t work. He couldn’t do it. If anything, they took a step back.

“So maybe you reset things, where the expectations are lower and you can have more of an impact on the culture.”

Irving was unsurprisingly evasive when asked about his uncertain future following the Celtics’ humbling loss to the Milwaukee Bucks in the teams’ Eastern Conference semifinal series.

“I’m going to be honest, I’m just trying to get back to Boston first, safely,” Irving said. “See my family, decompress, do what human beings do.”

The prevailing belief, as noted, is that Irving will seek out new horizons and leave the Celtics after a tumultuous season during which Irving himself seemed to cause most of the drama.

There has been no shortage of speculation that Irving may join forces with one of his best NBA pals in New York. With that in mind — not to mention how myriad teams that boast better pedigrees and chances of success in the short term will come calling — odds are Irving will not end up in Phoenix.

Would the Suns be a nice fit for Irving, though, as Shelburne suggests? That’s hard to say, as is the case with anything concerning the mercurial superstar.