Kyrie Irving’s image reboot and the Mavs quest for a second star. Looking at a trade where the two parties desperately needed each other.
The NBA trade deadline this year is likely one of the most active that we have seen in quite a few years. The highlight of this deadline is without a doubt the trading of Kevin Durant from Brooklyn to Phoenix. Anytime an all-time great offensive player is traded in the middle of a season where he is averaging nearly 30 points per game, it is headline news. There has been nonstop talk about the Durant trade, the dismantling of the Brooklyn Nets super team, and the Suns’ rising title hopes. Meanwhile, Durant’s old teammate and friend Kyrie Irving was also traded.
Irving had worn out his welcome in Brooklyn and this felt like a parting of two parties that simply had grown tired of one another. The Nets shipped Irving to Dallas to be paired with superstar Luka Doncic. In return, the Nets received Spencer Dinwiddie, Dorian Finney-Smith, an unprotected 2029 first-round pick, and two second-round picks (in 2027 and 2029). In many ways, this pairing feels like the right move at the right time for a team and a player in desperate need of a needle-moving shift.
Fireworks Wanted in Dallas
The Dallas Mavericks have won one NBA championship. And it is a championship run that is historically significant, perhaps more than just about any title in the modern era. The Mavericks entered the playoffs in 2011 as the third seed in the Western Conference. In the first round, they faced a 48-win Trail Blazers team with a young core of LaMarcus Aldridge, Nicholas Batum, Brandon Roy, and Wesley Matthews and won the series in 6 games. They then swept a 57-win Lakers team featuring Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, and Lamar Odom. In the conference finals, they won in 5 games against a young Oklahoma City Thunder team that featured Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, James Harden, and Serge Ibaka. And that was all capped off in the NBA Finals with a win in 6 games against a 58-win Miami Heat superteam with Dwayne Wade, LeBron James, and Chris Bosh. It is perhaps one…