Biggest Winners And Losers From Kyrie Irving Trade to Mavericks
This stage of the Kyrie Irving soap opera has come to a close. On Sunday, the Brooklyn Nets granted Irving's trade request and sent him to the Dallas Mavericks in exchange for Spencer Dinwiddie, Dorian Finney-Smith, a first-round pick and a couple of second-rounders.
With the deal finally done, let's break down the biggest winners and losers from the massive trade.
Kyrie got what he wanted! After demanding a trade last summer before backing down, Irving tried again and was successful. So he counts as a winner even if it feels inevitable that we'll find ourselves here again very soon with whatever new team he decides to destroy from the inside.
Watching Doncic do literally everything for the Mavericks this year has been mostly fun because he's good enough to do literally everything at a high level and still win basketball games. But it's also been depressing because his greatness is wasted by a bad roster around him that forces him to do literally everything. Now he doesn't have to worry about that as much. Irving's ability to create something out of nothing is second to none. Between him and Christian Wood Doncic has scoring punch worth fearing. around him.
We all laughed when reports came out that the Mavs were willing to part with Finney-Smith in exchange for a superstar. Yet here we are, with Finney-Smith as a central part of a package that brought Kyrie Irving to the Mavericks. It's his turn to laugh!
This is not a very good return for a player of Irving's caliber and the fact that we're all impressed speaks to the low expectations of the situation. They managed to get picks and useful players out of Irivng, sure, but the draft pick doesn't convey until 2027 and they are a worse team as things stand with Dinwiddie and DFS instead of Irving. Most of all, it's an exclamation point on the second-worst decision in franchise history. The "superteam" of Irving and Durant won one playoff series before Kyrie forced his way out and the Nets spent far more time dealing with the fallout of Irving's insane decisions instead of winning anything of note. Tough!
This guy volunteered to play with Kyrie Irving. Despite everything that happened. Despite this very obviously being the likely outcome. As a result Durant has burned one season of his majestic career for a guy who wouldn't even show up to work and now the Nets need to scramble to get themselves into contention this year. Durant is already firmly solidified as one of the best players ever but choosing to team up with Irving in Brooklyn is doing a ton of damage to his long-term legacy and ability to win another ring. Who knows what he does now?
Los Angeles Lakers
This one has got to sting for LeBron James and the Lakers. This was their shot. Their one opportunity. Their chance to land a legitimate star next to LeBron and Anthony Davis with the paltry assets at their disposal. They could've ditched Russell Westbrook and gotten Kyrie Irving instead! And they were *this* close to making it happen. But the Nets didn't want their draft picks and they certainly didn't want Westbrook. The Lakers just got outbid and there are no pieces out there as impactful as Irving could've been.