Dallas, help is on the way.
According to reports from The Athletic’s Shams Charania and ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Mavericks have swooped in to acquire eight-time All-Star Kyrie Irving from the Nets in a deal that sends Spencer Dinwiddie, Dorian Finney-Smith and multiple draft picks to Brooklyn.
The news of the deal comes less than 48 hours after Irving reportedly requested a trade from the Nets. Irving’s time in Brooklyn comes to an end midway through his fourth season with the franchise. He now leaves one superstar in Kevin Durant to team up with another in Luka Doncic in Dallas.
How did the Nets and Mavericks fare in this deal? The Sporting News breaks down trade grades for each team below.
MORE: Details of the trade sending Kyrie Irving to Dallas
Mavericks trade grade
It’s far from a secret that Doncic has carried a historically heavy workload for Dallas this season. And as a result, rumblings of his frustration and discontent with the franchise have grown louder and louder.
Whether or not there was substance to the rumors of Doncic’s unhappiness, going out to acquire Irving reaffirms the franchise’s commitment to building the best team possible around its generational talent.
The Sporting News’ Scott Rafferty recently outlined what makes Irving such a good fit alongside Doncic in Dallas.
Doncic and Irving would form a similar one-two punch as Irving did with LeBron James when they were teammates in Cleveland. Irving is a good enough shooter to play off of someone like Doncic, and his ability to create his shot against practically anyone would help take some of the playmaking burden off of Doncic’s shoulders.
Irving, who will turn 31 in March, is enjoying one of the best statistical seasons of his career. Through his first 40 games with Brooklyn, Irving garnered a selection as an All-Star starter with averages of 27.1 points, 5.3 assists and 5.1 rebounds per game on .486/.374/.883 shooting splits.
MORE: Why Kyrie Irving requested trade from Nets
Dallas has tried different approaches to build around Doncic, but in Irving, has successfully acquired the best teammate that he has ever had.
Great as Irving has been this season, there are risks associated with the point guard, whose tenure in Cleveland and Brooklyn ended with trade requests while his time in Boston ended rather unceremoniously. Irving’s most recent request stemmed from the Nets’ inability to commit long-term.
While Irving is still relatively young, injury history is one of a number of elements that gave the franchise pause when considering its commitment. NBA insider Marc Stein reported that no new contract has been promised and Irving’s representation and the Mavericks will revisit talks at the season’s end. He is eligible for a two-year, $83 million extension now and a four-year deal in the summer.
The unknown beyond this year is the main thing that keeps this trade from being a complete home run.
MORE: Kyrie Irving trade from Nets to Mavericks draws eye-popping reaction from NBA world
Nets trade grade
According to Stein, the Nets were most insistent on acquiring Dinwiddie and Finney-Smith in any negotiations for Irving. By acquiring both of their priorities, the Nets can confidently say that they did not “settle” in the accepted deal.
As a sweetener, Brooklyn now has more draft capital — second-round picks in 2027 and 2029 and a first-round pick in 2029, which, while far away, could be of great value as it gives the Mavericks time to run through this course as contenders.
Now, the focus shifts to what the Nets do from here.
With Irving now gone, will Durant want to remain in Brooklyn? The foundation proved to be shaky last summer when Durant requested a trade, though all eventually smoothed over.
Great as Durant has been this season, are Dinwiddie and Finney-Smith enough to keep this team among the top four in the East? Will Durant again want to move on?
There’s no doubt that Sean Marks and the Nets’ brass considered everything when executing this deal, but if Durant has one foot out of the door again, perhaps Brooklyn would have been better off pushing for one more piece, perhaps a young player like Dallas’ Josh Green or a wild card in Jaden Hardy.