DALLAS, TX – On Friday evening, news broke that Kyrie Irving had demanded a trade out of Brooklyn. This caused havoc all throughout the NBA community. Multiple teams including the LA Lakers, Phoenix Suns, and LA Clippers came calling for the now 8-time NBA All-Star. It was announced on Sunday afternoon that the Dallas Mavericks had landed Kyrie Irving in a trade. The trade pairs up 2 of the most elite guards in the NBA today as Irving now joins Luka Doncic as a member of the Mavericks. Irving will now look to put his mark on another NBA franchise.
The Mavericks are sending Dorian Finney-Smith, Spencer Dinwiddie, a 2027 first-round pick and second round picks to the Nets, sources tell ESPN. https://t.co/PUMhhYeDnQ
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 5, 2023
Champions in Cleveland
Throughout his 12-year career thus far, Kyrie Irving has made his mark on multiple NBA franchises. It started with the Cleveland Cavaliers when he helped the team come back from a 3-1 series deficit in the 2016 NBA Finals. He made the NBA’s version of the “shot heard ‘round the world” when he hit a fading 3-pointer that would be the deciding factor in Game 7. In the following season, the Cavs returned to the Finals, but were eliminated by the Golden State Warriors. This is when Kyrie began to pave his own journey.
The Boston Era
In July of 2017, just a month after falling in the NBA Finals, Kyrie asked that he be traded out of Cleveland. His wish was granted, and he was traded to the Boston Celtics for a package centered around All-Star point guard Isaiah Thomas. The trade did not end how the Celtics were hoping. They were bounced from the Eastern Conference Finals in 2018 by the Cleveland Cavaliers in 7 games. They had to rely on the play of youngsters Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown due to Kyrie being injured. In the 2019 playoffs, the Celtics swept the Indiana Pacers in the first round but lost to the Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. Despite telling the fans that he expected to re-sign with the Celtics when his contract expired, Kyrie inevitably decided to pack his bags once again.
In the summer of 2019, Kyrie decided to leave Boston and join Kevin Durant as a member of the Brooklyn Nets. The two have a friendship stemming from USA basketball that had influenced his signing. In his first three years with the team, Irving only played in 103 games. His time missed came from multiple injuries and failure to follow NBA health and safety protocols, and personal reasons. In those seasons, the Nets made the playoffs in all 3 years, but did not reach the NBA Finals. The Nets brought in James Harden in January of 2021 to create a 3-headed monster. However, this did not work out as Harden was traded away the following season. As for this season, Kyrie has missed some time due to injury as well as a league suspension for promoting an anti-Semitic film on social media. Even though Kyrie has missed time, he was still selected as an NBA All-Star starter.
Welcome to Dallas
Many conversations in the league are going through one team today: the Toronto Raptors.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 6, 2023
On Monday afternoon Kyrie Irving was scheduled to head to Dallas to complete the medical part of the trade. However, Adrian Wojnarowski broke news that the trade has yet to be completed due to the Nets looking for a third team to add to the trade. That team is likely to be the Toronto Raptors. The original trade had Spencer Dinwiddie, Dorian Finney-Smith, a 2027 first-round draft pick, and 2 second-round draft picks heading to the Brooklyn Nets. The Nets may be looking for a better option to replace Kyrie Irving in the likes of Fred Van Vleet who currently plays for the Toronto Raptors. If the trade does become official, this will be Spencer Dinwiddie’s second stint with Brooklyn. He spent 5 seasons with the Nets from 2016-2021.
Impact On the East
The NBA standings after Sunday's action 👀
For more: https://t.co/qDvqmYCauA pic.twitter.com/uSPQ2ioLE7
— NBA (@NBA) February 6, 2023
The Kyrie Irving trade has a lot of playoff implications on the line for teams competing in the Easter Conference. As of Monday afternoon, 3 teams are within 4.5 games of the Nets at the 4th seed. The Cavaliers are 0.5 games back, the Miami Heat are 4 games back, and the New York Knicks are 4.5 games back. The Washington Wizards, who hold the 10th seed, are 8 games back. With the inevitable departure of Irving, Kevin Durant may look to be traded as well. After all, Durant requested a trade in the offseason before Kyrie. The trade deadline for the NBA is February 9th, at 3 PM. After it passes, the Nets may be without their 2 superstars that they came into the season with. This can very well make room for multiple teams to make their run at a secure playoff spot and avoid the play-in tournament.
Impact On the West
With the addition of Kyrie Irving, the Dallas Mavericks have the newest dynamic duo in the NBA. With Luka Doncic and now Irving, the Mavericks have a lot to play with on the offensive side of the ball. Both players are elite with the ball, know how to create space, and finish in the paint. The new offense will look to wreak havoc on opposing defenses. The Mavericks currently hold the 6th seed in the Western Conference but sit just 4.5 games back of the 2nd seed, and 2 games back of the 3rd seed. While they are losing 2 good role-players in Dinwiddie and Finney-Smith, the Mavericks should still be in good position with players like Christian Wood who are able to stretch the floor for the Dallas offense. The Mavericks will look to rise up in the Western Conference standings throughout the rest of the year with their new 1-2 punch of Doncic and Irving.
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