The Brooklyn Nets are sending Kyrie Irving and Markieff Morris to the Dallas Mavericks for Spencer Dinwiddie, Dorian Finney-Smith, a first-round pick, and two second-round picks, per Adrian Wojnarowski. This blockbuster move is coming just days after Irving shockingly requested a trade following stalled talks over his contract extension. Here are the trade grades for each team.
Kyrie Irving to Dallas Mavericks: Trade Grades
Dallas Mavericks: B
The Mavericks finally have their second superstar to pair alongside Luka Doncic, but is Irving the right player? He’ll certainly take a lot of pressure off Doncic, however, they are both ball-dominant guards and their chemistry will be a significant factor. Their defense also raises some concerns, especially after losing Finney-Smith. It’ll be interesting to see how this dynamic works, but on paper, they have one of the best backcourts in the league.
With Irving, there’s always going to be a concern about his availability. Earlier this season he was suspended by the Nets for eight games after he posted a link to an anti-Semitic film on social media. And who could forget when he missed the majority of the 2020-21 season because he refused to get the COVID-19 vaccine? Irving is a wild card, but when he’s on the court there’s no denying his talent and impact offensively. He’s leaving the Nets with averages of 27.1 PPG, 5.3 APG, and 5.1 RPG this season.
This was a risky move for Dallas, as Irving is also set to become a free agent this offseason. With how much the Mavericks have given up, it will be crucial to sign him to a long-term contract. If he declines, this trade will likely blow up in their faces, leaving the team with even less talent and depth than they had before. Losing the only superstar he’s ever played with could also lead to a disgruntled Doncic.
Brooklyn Nets: A-
The Nets put up a lot with Irving over the years, but they are finally free of his antics. They also received a decent haul for the eight-time All-Star given the short notice of his trade request. Now the question is if this return is enough for Kevin Durant. He previously requested a trade in the summer, and he may do it again with his co-star gone.
Dinwiddie (17.7 PPG, 5.3 APG, 3.1 RPG) is returning to the team where his career took off. He’s been a solid player in Dallas and one of Doncic’s most reliable supporters offensively. The guard is having the best three-point shooting season of his career (40.5%), a boost to a team already ranked second in the league in 3P%. Finney-Smith (9.1 PPG, 1.5 APG, 4.7 RPG) is also a key 3-and-D player, excelling at defending on the perimeter, and is overall an excellent role player.
Brooklyn still has the potential to make a decent playoff run, assuming Durant stays and is healthy. Their roster is deeper and now they have two reliable players and some more draft capital.
The Last Word on the Kyrie Irving Trade
This trade made the Mavericks one of the most interesting teams to watch. It’s a relief for Doncic to finally have some help, but it is a gamble. It’s also unlikely that the move will help them reach the Finals this season. Now all eyes will be on the Nets to see if Durant becomes available ahead of the trade deadline.