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Grades: Kyrie To The Mavs

As much as I thought the Lakers should make the trade for Kyrie Irving, I was lukewarm on the idea for the Mavericks. It simply comes down to the age and health of the Lakers stars. Their window to contend is much less open with a 38-year-old LeBron James and an often injured Anthony Davis than it is for 23-year-old Luka Don?i?. I certainly understand the pressure to appease Luka with stars asking for trades with years left on their contract now. This clearly seems like an appeasement move but ultimately is counterproductive to the end goal. This wasn’t the trade you do in my opinion. After seeing what they gave up I absolutely don’t like it for them.

The Deal

Kyrie Irving
Markieff Morris

Spencer Dinwiddie
Dorian Finney Smith
2029 1st (Unprotected)
2027 2nd
2029 2nd

The Mavs

That would be a pretty amazing haul for the Nets if Kyrie didn’t have all this weird baggage and drama constantly circling him, and can be a free agent after the season. It’s not be reported yet, but surely they have worked out an extension or something long-term before they sent this one would have to believe. Otherwise, he could just sign with the Lakers in the off-season (if they let Rui Hachimura walk).

That’s part of what makes this deal so bad in my opinion. Having to invest in Kyrie Irving long-term. As the Lakers are in a premium market perhaps they get a discount or fewer years. Players want to live and play in Los Angeles more than Dallas. The Mavs likely will have to pay a premium in this extension or the off-season, or just watch him walk this summer to the Lakers anyway.

If this trade were for Davis Bertans or even Tim Hardaway instead of Dinwiddie I could understand it far more. I believe the Mavs still need Dinwiddie. He’s a guy that has the size to play off guard with Kyrie, can handle the ball and get his own shot and is shooting 40.5% from three on high 2.6 volume. Maybe you believe that is an outlier, which seems to be over his career (33% career and last year), but this is the kind of chance you have to bet on sustaining if you want upside.

This is what happens when you screw up the Jalen Brunson extension as poorly as you did and create this desperation. It created tension and put them behind, so now they have to pay for it with this trade. I’m not even sure this makes them better the way Dinwiddie was playing. Who defends on this team now Finney Smith? I guess Tim Hardaway is your stopper now. I don’t value Finney Smith as much as some, but it really hurts the team makeup and defense. To give up both Dinwiddie and the unprotected first, just for a few months just to overpay him is rough. The only positive I see really is the perception you are doing something for Luka, but when the results are likely poor how long does that smile on his face last.

Trade Grade: D-

The Nets

I love the trade for the Nets. Not only did you ship out the headache on your team and get a valuable pick, I think you improved your team. Let’s talk about the 2029 unprotected pick first. Will Luka even be on the Mavericks in 2029? I would bet not if I had to. Dinwiddie is shooting 3% better from three, he assists at about the same rate, he’s got more size and versatility. He’s the 3rd ranked PG in the NBA on defense by Real Plus-Minus behind P. Beverly and Kyle Lowry. Kyrie’s numbers are surprisingly good as well as the 7th, but I do believe Dinwiddie is the better defender. I really like this trade for the Nets. The only question mark is what does this mean for Kevin Durant. Will he buy into the new teammates or will this shift him more in the malcontent direction.

I don’t think this team is much worse if they are at all. They may have gotten better. If Durant could take a step back and consider if he took this team deep in the playoffs it would help his legacy. Much of the way Dirk Nowitzki’s championship is viewed is the way Durant could be viewed if he was leading this team as a contender. This is why he left Golden State he wasn’t getting the respect he thought he deserved, so this is his chance. It’s really the only chance he’s ever had to lead a team that didn’t have Hall of Famers on it. Hopefully, he will take up the challenge because this can still be a good team this season. One that can potentially do more for his legacy too simply because he’s the only All-Star on it now.

Trade Grade: A

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