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Kyrie Irving Is Now The Mavericks’ Problem

3:57 PM EST on February 5, 2023

Kyrie Irving and Luka Doncic embrace.
Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images

Well! Kyrie Irving will not be going to the Lakers. The Brooklyn Nets shipped him to the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday afternoon, approximately 48 hours after the news that contract-extension negotiations between the Nets and Irving had ended with Irving requesting a trade. The Mavericks will send back two starters and a package of future draft picks:

Adrian Wojnarowski reported Sunday that the Nets ultimately preferred this Mavericks deal to the best offer by the Lakers, and had their eyes specifically on Spencer Dinwiddie and Dorian Finney-Smith. The swap returns Dinwiddie to Brooklyn, where he enjoyed his professional breakout in 2018 and his closest brush with stardom, before joining the Washington Wizards in 2021 as part of the complicated trade that moved Russell Westbrook to the Los Angeles Lakers. The Mavericks are already a putrid defensive team, so parting with Finney-Smith, their only credible wing defender, will sting, but the decision has evidently been made to lean into the all-offense model that has more or less defined the Luka Doncic era. Marc Stein reported Sunday that the team's decision-makers consulted Doncic in the process of this trade.

The Nets ship out a constant pain in the ass who has made himself one of the least likable players of his generation, and replace him with a couple of more reliable professionals. The Mavericks, hovering slightly above .500 on the season and in need of a shakeup, replace a couple of willing role-players for a talented scorer who should probably be banned from watching videos on Instagram. The Lakers remain where they are, hoping to scrabble their way into the play-in games.

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