The 2021-22 NBA season has been an eventful one, with Kyrie Irving returning as a part-time player and Klay Thompson's imminent return to action after nursing injuries for two years. The return of both players will undoubtedly impact their teams positively, but the question is, who stands a better chance of winning a championship?
Kyrie Irving, who refused to get vaccinated, was previously completely out of the lineup, but Brooklyn Nets owner Joe Tsai agreed to bring him back to play road games. With Klay, the Golden State Warriors will have an exceptional two-way player who can shoot and defend the three-point line.
On the latest episode of "The Old Man & The Three With JJ Reddick and Tommy Alter," several topics were discussed, including who will be more impactful in helping their team win a championship. Reddick started off by stating that he considers Klay Thompson to be a top 75 player of all-time.
"The question was posed to me the other day, who's gonna have a bigger impact Klay coming back or Kyrie coming back? And of course, Klay is a great player, he's a top 77 player of all time. Nah, he's a top 75 to me. Klay, you're top 75 to me. " - said Reddick
However, on the question of who will have a bigger impact on their team's championship bid, Reddick believes it will be Irving, due to the Nets' lack of "playmaking" personnel.
"But I really do believe this, in the short term I think Kyrie coming back will have a bigger impact on the Nets because of the playmaking load and burden that Durant and Harden have had the whole season, and because of how imbalanced their roster is, they are so top-heavy." - declared Reddick
Kyrie Irving and Klay Thompson's return gives their respective teams a major boost
The Warriors have been flying without Klay Thompson, and they could be so much better when he takes the court. He has expressed interest in first playing in front of the home fans, and it has been reported that he will make his debut on Sunday night against the Cleveland Cavaliers before they go on a four-game road trip.
With Kyrie Irving prohibited from playing in Brooklyn, he will only feature in road games except in California, Toronto, and against the New York Knicks. The Nets will take on the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday night in a home encounter before heading back on the road for two games. Many expect Kyrie to play those games against the Portland Trail Blazers and the Chicago Bulls.
Both players will undoubtedly play a significant role in their teams' success moving forward. We have seen how much of an immediate impact Irving can have following his 22-point performance against the Pacers. The Warriors, on the other hand, might have to be a little more patient with Thompson's production, although one would imagine they are absolutely thrilled to have him back again.