Well… we knew this was eventually going to happen.
It turns out Kyrie Irving is the next superstar to leave the Brooklyn Nets after James Harden‘s departure last trade deadline, not Kevin Durant. Despite having three months to get a package for KD and not getting a deal done, they were able to trade Irving within a matter of days to the Mavericks, receiving in return Spencer Dinwiddie, Dorian Finney-Smith, a 2029 first-round pick, and two second-round picks. This was not an expected move, to say the least, so let’s grade this trade.
It’s early, but I’m not sure about this trade for the Nets. Irving was clearly not good for the organization from the beginning, and can’t stay away from controversy. However, that doesn’t take away from the fact that he’s an All-Star starter this year, and one of the best point guards in the entire NBA. Trading him away pretty much ensures that the Nets aren’t making a deep playoff run this year. Still, it was trade him now or lose him for nothing in free agency, so the Nets did the best they could, given the situation.
Dinwiddie gets to return to Brooklyn a proven NBA veteran averaging 17 points, 5 assists, and 3 rebounds on the season. Finney-Smith is a solid contributor and 3/D guy, but nothing that special. How we look at this deal in the future for Brooklyn depends on how valuable that 2027 first-round pick is. However, given that Luka Doncic is under contract until 2027, it’s safe to assume this isn’t going to be a top-ten pick, which is why I have their grade at a B-.
I feel really bad for Kevin Durant. Just days after learning he and his teammate are All-Star starters together, Irving demands out. Now he’s left with…Ben Simmons? The man thought he’d be creating another super team with Irving and Harden, asked for a trade and didn’t get it, tried to make it work, and is now left with a shell of a team. This is about as bad as I can feel for a guy who’s making $44 million to play the game of basketball.
I’m hesitant but optimistic for the Dallas side of this trade. They didn’t have to give up Christian Wood in order to land Irving, and Doncic has the best teammate he’s ever played with in his career. As long as Irving can stay on the court and not do anything stupid off of it, Doncic’s burden will be lessened. However, how much is he really willing to lessen that load?
Doncic has gotten used to carrying the Mavericks on his back with little help. In fact, he leads the NBA in isolation possessions per game, with 7.5. However, third on the leaderboard of most isolation possessions per game is Irving, who averages 4.8. Will the Mavericks turn into a your turn-my turn type of team? That’s what Trae Young and Dejounte Murray were aiming for in Atlanta, and look where that got them. If Irving can learn to take a backseat to Doncic while still being a secondary playmaker, the Mavericks truly have a chance to make the NBA Finals this year. However, if Irving can’t stay out of controversy, or they can’t coexist on the court, this could end up being an unmitigated disaster. We’ll have to wait and see, but in the meantime, Dallas is going to be a very interesting team to watch.
What are your thoughts on this trade? Let me know in the comments below, don’t forget to follow the NBA Blog, and as always, have an awesome day!
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One thought on “The Brooklyn Nets Are Finally Dismantling”
As always, it comes down to personalities, can Kyrie and Luka play together. The big question is, will the “Soap Opera” now continue in Dallas. I guess Mark Cuban is desperate for a championship, perhaps thinks are not going well on “Shark Tank”. The Nets will rebuild and while their experiment was working for a while, in the end it failed to lead them to the promise land. I hope KD remains with the NETS and helps the team through this transition.