The first major domino of the NBA‘s trade season has now fallen as Brooklyn Nets star guard Kyrie Irving has been traded to the Dallas Mavericks. The Athletic’s Shams Charania was the first to report. For Brooklyn, the return consists of Spencer Dinwiddie, Dorian Finney-Smith, and multiple draft picks, including a 2029 first-round pick.
It had been reported previously that the Nets were motivated to complete a deal, not desiring to wait until Thursday’s upcoming deadline.
Kyrie’s dissatisfaction in Brooklyn had been long documented as the player and franchised endured an on-again, off-again relationship over the past three-plus seasons. The breaking point for Irving and his camp was the inclusion of a “championship stipulation” from Brooklyn in their extension negotiations.
From there, trade talks began to ramp up quickly, with the Los Angeles Lakers, the LA Clippers, and the Dallas Mavericks all registering interest in the eight-time All-Star. The Lakers appeared to be Kyrie’s preferred destination, while the Clippers were rumored to have made a strong offer. In the end, it would be Dallas who caught the eye of Nets’ general manager Sean Marks, and a deal was finalized.
For the Mavericks, the desire for Irving is understandable. Recently named a 2023 All-Star starter, Kyrie Irving has played phenomenally this season, and Dallas has a clear need to reinforce superstar Luka Doncic, who they consulted prior to the deal, per Marc Stein. Their new guard is a slight flight risk as a pending free agent; however, he shares “a long history” with the Mavericks’ general manager, Nico Harrison, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, giving them a better chance at resigning the polarizing player this offseason.
Veteran Markieff Morris joins Irving as a part of the deal.
For Brooklyn, they reunite with their former guard, Spencer Dinwiddie. Originally finding his stride as a pro with the Nets, Dinwiddie returns to where his career truly began. This time, he will be joined by talented stars such as Kevin Durant and Nic Claxton.
Joining Dinwiddie is his teammate in Dallas, Dorian Finney-Smith. Finney-Smith’s inclusion is no surprise as it had been made known that he has a fan in Brooklyn Nets’ superstar Kevin Durant. While many expected Kyrie’s departure to be shortly followed by Durant’s, the addition of Dinwiddie and Finney-Smith, as opposed to a future-focused deal, suggests they are trying to move forward with Durant at the helm of the roster.
Both Dinwiddie and Finney-Smith are talented players that will help the Nets win not only his regular season but in the playoffs as well. Add in a 2029 first-round pick and two second-rounders in the years 2027 and 2029, and you have one solid return for a player as polarizing as Kyrie Irving.