It has happened. Kyrie Irving is a member of the Dallas Mavericks. Days after requesting a trade from the Brooklyn Nets, the embattled point guard has been sent out west for what seems to be a below-market package.
According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, Brooklyn receives Spencer Dinwiddie, Dorian Finney-Smith, a first-round pick and multiple second-round selections from Dallas for the NBA champion. Markieff Morris is also headed to Dallas in the deal.
There’s a lot of moving parts here. Dallas now joins the conversation among the Western Conference elite after struggling to open the 2022-23 season. Star guard and NBA MVP candidate Luka Doncic gets more help after rumors that Dallas was looking to pull off a blockbuster deal ahead of the NBA trade deadline.
As for the Nets, this deal does impact their standing in the Eastern Conference after a brutal showing against the Boston Celtics last week. With that said, they could still be contenders once Kevin Durant returns from injury. Below, we look at four winners and losers from the Irving trade.
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Winner: Luka Doncic gets wing man in Kyrie Irving
Dallas entered Sunday’s action with a 28-26 record and as the sixth seed in the Western Conference. The team has not looked like anything near a conference title contender throughout the 2022-23 season despite Doncic’s otherworldly performance. Heck, the dude is averaging 33.4 points, 8.9 rebounds and 8.2 assists on the season.
Despite our opinion of Irving and the drama he brings to the table, the eight-time All-Star performer will bring another element to Dallas’ attack.
- Kyrie Irving stats (2022-23): 27.1 PPG, 5.1 RPG, 5.3 APG, 49% shooting, 37% 3-point
Adding Irving to the mix with Doncic and Christian Wood makes Dallas a legitimate conference title contender. It also appeases a star in Doncic that had been rumored to be unhappy about the direction of the Mavericks.
Related: Kyrie Irving and the top-50 NBA players of 2023
Loser: Kevin Durant, Brooklyn Nets championship odds
The Nets are losers on two fronts. First off, it remains to be seen how the Kyrie Irving trade is going to impact Durant’s future in Brooklyn. He came to the Nets as a packaged deal with Irving back in 2019. Frustration has snice taken hold with the Nets struggling to maintain championship-caliber play due to numerous factors.
Meanwhile, Durant requested a trade from the Nets last offseason before backtracking. If Brooklyn struggles to conclude the 2022-23 season, we wouldn’t be surprised if said trade request was regurgitated during the summer.
Related: Sportsnaut’s NBA Playoff and Finals predictions
Winner: Mark Cuban makes Dallas Mavericks relevant again
Cuban is among the NBA owners most willing to pull off blockbuster trades. Whether they work out has been another case. The ill-fated deal for Kristaps Porzingis during the 2018-19 season is the most-recent example of this.
Dallas has made it out of the first round of the NBA Playoffs just once since it won the Finals back in 2010-11. In short, the team has failed to remain relevant on the broader NBA stage over the past decade-plus. Whether it is as a short-term rental or a long-term relationship, the addition of Kyrie Irving changes the dynamics big time.
Loser: NBA teams and front offices
We’ve seen it on a near never-ending loop. Star players being able to request trades and be sent out of town without much push back. Last year’s NBA trade deadline was a prime example of this with James Harden requesting a trade from the Brooklyn Nets. Within days, he was sent to the Philadelphia 76ers.
Teams are not in a position of power when it comes to appeasing star players in today’s NBA. Regardless of what contract status, they can simply request a trade and threaten to sit out. That’s exactly what Irving did on Friday when he demanded out of the Big Apple. Within two days, his request was granted.