The Lakers are the biggest losers in the Kyrie Irving trade between the Nets and the Mavericks

Kyrie Irving: Still not a Laker

Kyrie Irving: Still not a Laker
Photography: Getty Images

During a season where league-wide equality is a major theme, the drama-free Dallas Mavericks plunged headlong into unknown depths by acquiring team arsonist Kyrie Irving from the Brooklyn Nets. All it took was Dorian Finney-Smith, point guard Spencer Dinwiddie, some second round picks and a first round selection in 2029, the NBA’s melodramatic screenwriters are more plot-driven than any league in the world, and the trade deadline is when they tend to exhaust all possibilities.

From Dallas’ perspective, that’s understandable. After making it to the conference finals a year ago, they believe anything can happen. They’ve defied the odds once before with Rick Carlisle, Dirk Nowitzki, Tyson Chandler and a group of veterans who have succeeded. However, this feels like hitting a 16 at the blackjack table. They were desperate to give up any All-Star regardless of the fit in the lineup with Luka Doncic after the playful point guard they developed fled in free agency to the New York Knicks. Irving offers less stability, but higher peaks – and lower valleys. For four years in Brooklyn, he jumped between those two extremes at breakneck speed.

Irving’s prowess with the ball in his possession can only be matched by his ability to cause internal conflict. Every few months, Irving’s basketball Munchausen syndrome presented an excuse for him to lash out and leave his teammates in the lurch. In Dallas, the doomsday needle will always be pointed at 11. Maybe Hall of Fame player and Mavs head coach Jason Kidd believes he has a better chance of winning Irving’s trust than Steve Nash, but a few weeks ago, Jacque Vaughn thought he was also a good read on Irving .

We also don’t know how Irving will react to the move to Dallas. It is widely rumored that the Los Angeles Lakers were his favorite destination. Not only was Irving interested in reuniting with James, but he was also a longtime assistant to the late Laker great Kobe Bryant. Harden spent a year sulking in Brooklyn until he was sent to the franchise he originally sought a trade for. It’s hard to tell if the Nets sent him to the Mavs for such a modest package out of spite, or because they were genuinely thrilled to bring Spencer Dinwiddie back to Brooklyn.

On paper, it’s actually a good deal for the Mavs

Despite all that, the cost-benefit analysis favors Dallas. Cuban Aquarium for sharks shrewdness worked and he bet on his biggest salvation project so far. Kyrie and Luka Dončić are useless on the sticks. Each has the innate ability to poke holes in defenses, drive to the rim, shoot fireballs through the sheet from the outside and create for teammates. But they also prefer to make points by refusing. Doncic’s 37.6 usage rate ranks second-highest in the league and while he thrives alongside low-scoring scorers, his new assistant isn’t that guy. Instead, Irving is a virtuoso with the rock, shooting better on assisted jumpers than he does on the fed capture and shoot diet. defensively, they are one of the most leaky units in the NBA and Irving only makes that problem worse unless they have a few more tricks up their sleeve before the trade deadline.

A staggering amount of minutes would solve one glaring problem for the Mavs. They tend to go cold often and give up huge leads when the forward is down nearly 11 points per 100 possessions during the minutes Doncic sits. If you extrapolate Dallas’s 120.4 offensive rating with Doncic in the lineup to 48 minutes per game, they’d be the NBA’s best forward, while their 109.3 rating when he sits would make them the second-lowest scoring unit in the league.

However, there are more than two franchises affected by the crater created by the Irving trade talk. Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka had a chance to become an LA legend by betting the future on building a powerful 1-2-3 trio of Anthony Davis, LeBron James and Irving. Ultimately, it sounds like Pelinka either slept in on Sunday or Cuban rushed in more urgently.

Pelinka will never hear the end of this, regardless of whether he actually made the Nets an offer they could handle. The Dallas deal wasn’t hard to beat. Dinwiddie is a solid point guard and was a vocal leader in the locker room until he was traded to Washington in a five-team deal before the start of the 2021-22 season. That first-round pick is one smaller and later than the two picks LA has available in 2027 and 2029. Still, Dinwiddie is less of a championship cornerstone and more of a Lego brick. It also deprived the NBA of what would have been an uncomfortable-but-necessary easing of tension between Westbrook and Durant.

Can Kyrie keep his shit together long enough to make a difference?

In the end, Irving has to wonder what was really accomplished in the last 48 hours. “Back and left,” isn’t a phrase the Mavericks’ newest chief conspiracy theorist will be muttering to himself as he investigates the magic bullet theory in downtown Dallas on a sunny Thursday morning, it’s an apt description for the underdog he’s been subjected to. After pooping his pants and sitting in them for 48 hours, he found himself on a team further away from the title hunt, without his so-called best friend and still without the long-term extension he was raising hell for.

The Mavericks can try their best, reeling off minutes and winning shots through their Luka-Kyrie offensive duopoly, but the latter is still Oppenheimer when he doesn’t get what he wants. He’s a destroyer of worlds and has the Mavericks stuck in a catch 22. Either he dies to a long-term deal this offseason, they lose him for nothing, or he plants another one of his high-impact bombs. The Highwire act didn’t end, it just moved to Dallas.

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *