The Brooklyn Nets ended a tumultuous 3.5-year relationship with the mercurial Kyrie Irving on Sunday when they traded him and Markieff Morris to Dallas for Spencer Dinwiddie, Dorian Finney-Smith, an unprotected 2029 first-round pick and second-round selections in 2027 and 2029.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Nets are expected to include the picks acquired in the trade — along with their own 2027 first-round pick — as bait in trade talks this week ahead of Thursday’s trade deadline.
Dallas reportedly ran the potential deal by its franchise player Luka Doncic, who was in favor of the move to acquire another perennial All-Star. Irving certainly comes with his warts, though.
There’s no denying his talents but is it worth the drama and baggage that Irving brings to every organization? We shall see. It’s worth noting that Irving can bolt in free agency this summer.
The 30-year-old Irving has now worn out his welcome with three franchises since 2017. The 12-year veteran guard had played in 40 games for the Nets this year, averaging 27.1 points, 5.3 assists, 5.1 rebounds and 1.0 steals per game.
In his first season with Brooklyn, he missed 62 games. Irving played in 54 games during the 2020-21 campaign, but then he missed 53 games last year. During his three complete seasons with the Nets, they won only one postseason series despite teaming Irving with Kevin Durant the whole time and with James Harden for portions of two years.
Whether it was his multiple trade demands, his refusal to get vaccinated for Covid-19 (that forced him to miss home games in his first year with the team) or his controversial antisemitic posts on social media, there was always some sort of issue created by Irving that was a distraction for the Nets throughout his tenure with the club.
NBA insider Marc Stein reported Sunday that Brooklyn owner Joe Tsai’s objective in granting Irving his trade demand was to not send him to the Lakers. The Nets reportedly turned down better offers from the Lakers, the Suns and the Clippers to deal Irving to Dallas.
Phoenix was reportedly offering Chris Paul, Jae Crowder and unspecified picks, according to Bleacher Report’s Chris Haynes, who reported that the Lakers offered their first-round picks in 2027 and 2029 along with Russell Westbrook’s expiring contract.
The Nets reportedly balked at that deal from the Lakers and countered by requesting that they add Austin Reaves, Max Christie and picks swaps to the offer.
The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor reported that the Clippers offered Terance Mann, Luke Kennard, a first-round pick and two pick swaps.
Brooklyn (32-20 straight up, 25-25-2 against the spread) is a home underdog tonight vs. the Clippers, while Dallas (28-26 SU, 19-33-2 ATS) is a road underdog at Utah. Irving isn’t expected to be in uniform tonight and Doncic is ‘out’ with a heel injury.
The Mavericks are currently in sixth place in the Western Conference. They’re one-half game back of fifth-place Phoenix and one game behind the Clippers for fourth.
The Nets are currently in fourth place in the East, 1.5 games ahead of the fifth-place Cavaliers and two games back of Philadelphia for third.