Ian Begley of SNY.tv reported that the Dallas Mavericks have discussed possibly acquiring superstar Kyrie Irving from the Brooklyn Nets. Irving is among the most talented players in the NBA, though he also comes with his own unique set of issues. Irving is unvaccinated and due to a New York state law requiring vaccinations is unable to play in Nets home games.
DAL is among teams to have reached out to BKN about Kyrie Irving, per SNY sources; Kristaps Porzingis came up in discussion; unclear if talks advanced. More here: https://t.co/e3AjTOpnya— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) December 14, 2021
The Nets have made the decision that until Irving is available to play in all games, through either a change in the law or a change in his vaccination status, Irving will not be allowed to play in any Nets games.
Marc Stein immediately reported that Mark Cuban denied these reports. Cuban being the person to deny these reports is troubling in and of itself.
Just spoke to Mavericks owner Mark Cuban who says his team, contrary to reports, has had no trade discussions with the Nets about Kyrie Irving.— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) December 14, 2021
More NBA from me: https://t.co/A6ycVmnrjq
Nico Harrison was hired to be the Mavericks general manager this offseason and the hope was that he would be granted more autonomy following the turmoil of this past offseason. A reporter feeling comfortable contacting Cuban for a statement and receiving one rather than being told to follow more appropriate channels feels like more of the same for the Mavericks.
The Mavericks should have contacted the Nets about Irving. Due diligence on trades that will never even get close to happening are a major part of the duties of the front office. Full disclosure, I actually mentioned that a huge swing for Irving might be the Mavericks best hope at getting out of the muck they have recently found themselves mired in. The rest of the Mavsmoneyball.com staff found the idea quite comical.
The Mavericks are in a difficult position between truly competing and being able to tank for a great draft pick. They also have many players who could be useful in the right roles but are currently overtaxed. Kyrie would dramatically raise their ceiling. From a purely basketball perspective, there is not a single player in basketball who would be a better fit with Luka Doncic than Kyrie.
Irving has elite ability as a high volume floor spacer(40.2 percent on 7.0 three point attempts per game last season) and attacking compromised defenses where he is arguably the best under the rim finisher in league history. He then has the ability to function as a high volume primary creator in minutes where he does not share the floor with another elite creator. Only Stephen Curry marries both of these on and off ball abilities at the same level as Irving.
Irving also has a history of playing well with prime Lebron James, which means playing next to a ball dominant player such as Luka should not be an issue. Unfortunately, all of these physical skills are packaged with the rest of Irving. He has an injury history which is quite concerning and numerous eccentricities that make his long term viability questionable. Because of this combination, acquiring Irving could be a fantastic bargain which makes the Mavericks true title contenders. Or it could be the final nail in the coffin of poor front office moves which guarantees Luka’s exit in the very near future. Either way, Mavericks fans have reason to hope based on these reports because Irving has become the Schrodinger’s cat of Mavericks trade targets.