Last week Kyrie Irving, one of the most talked about players in NBA basketball, had asked his team, the Brooklyn Nets, to be traded elsewhere before the so-called trade deadlinethe league’s seasonal transfer deadline, set for February 9.
After years of bad moods and constant problems, Brooklyn has satisfied the request of its starting point guard, but with a rather unexpected solution. He traded him to the Dallas Mavericks (along with Markieff Morris) in exchange for two other players (Spencer Dinwiddie and Dorian Finney-Smith), a first-round pick in the upcoming drafts and two second-round picks (meaning that when the teams will choose the best young people from colleges or abroad, Brooklyn will also be able to do it in the windows that would have been up to Dallas).
Previously there had been talk above all of his possible passage to the Los Angeles Lakers, where he would have found himself with LeBron James, with whom he won an NBA title at the time of the Cleveland Cavaliers. And a high-level player like Irving, even if very discontinuous, would have been of great use to the Lakers, given that they seriously risk staying out of the playoffs for the second consecutive year.
For the owner of the Nets, however, the goal was precisely to avoid swapping it with the Lakers, a team in difficulty but with always very high potential. For Irving, the Lakers had offered two first picks in the next drafts, and, it is said, also Russell Westbrook. The Los Angeles Clippers and the Phoenix Suns – finalists in 2021 – were then added to the auction for the player, which among other things offered Chris Paul, their starting point guard.
In the end, the Nets therefore avoided reinforcing teams deemed too insidious, for various reasons, preferring the offer of the Dallas Mavericks and receiving in exchange one of their former players who was already appreciated in his day, namely Spencer Dinwiddie. Shortly after the publication of the news, LeBron James wrote ironically on Twitter: “Maybe it’s me”, also alluding to when Irving left Cleveland after the title won in 2016 to go and play in Boston.
Maybe It’s Me
— LeBron James (@KingJames) February 6, 2023
In Dallas Irving will especially find Slovenian Luka Doncic, one of the best players in the league, who at 23 is having his best season since arriving in the NBA. But Dallas might just be a stopover for Irving. At the end of the season he will in fact become a free agenta free agent: he will therefore be free to accept contracts from other teams, given that in the recent transfer, according to the American sports press, he would not have given any guarantee of permanence to his new team.
What is certain of this story is that for the Brooklyn Nets, an era as told as it has never truly begun has come to an end. In fact, Irving had arrived in 2019 together with another great player in the championship, Kevin Durant, and together they should have created a title team. In the following years James Harden had also joined them, one of the best scorers in the championship, but things had never worked out properly, between continuous injuries and other internal management problems: Harden had already left a year ago, Irving he’s done now and Durant had tried it last summer.
Most of these problems concerned Irving himself, who in recent years in Brooklyn has missed over 130 games, almost more than those played. In addition to various injuries, his decision not to be vaccinated against the coronavirus had weighed heavily on these absences, which is why he had not played even thirty games last season. In the current season he had instead been suspended about a month in November for having published anti-Semitic content online, inevitably ending up at the center of great criticism.
In the Nets environment, his transfer has been taken by some almost as a relief, even if in the end the team has lost us from every point of view: in these four years his performance has been well below expectations , with the exception of a few short periods, despite costing over 30 million dollars a season. And then he caused a lot of problems for the team, most recently with a transfer that was not as profitable as it could have been under other circumstances.
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