Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving shocked the NBA on February 3 when he demanded that the team move him ahead of the NBA trade deadline. It didn’t take long for Brooklyn to find a deal to move him. On February 5, NBA insider Shams Charania of The Athletic was the first to report that the Nets would send Irving to the Dallas Mavericks for a massive haul.
“The Brooklyn Nets are trading Kyrie Irving to the Dallas Mavericks for Spencer Dinwiddie, Dorian Finney-Smith, a first-round and multiple second-round picks,” Charania tweeted on February 5.
“The Mavericks are sending a 2029 unprotected first-round pick, a 2027 second-round pick, and a 2029 second-round pick to the Nets. Brooklyn also is sending Markieff Morris to Dallas.”
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Lakers Strike Out on Kyrie Irving (Again)
Kyrie Irving and the Los Angeles Lakers seemed to have a mutual interest in reuniting the Nets guard with his former Cleveland Cavaliers co-star LeBron James. Dating back to last summer, the Nets and Lakers had exploratory conversations on a deal that would have swapped Irving with former NBA MVP Russell Westbrook.
ESPN NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski said the Nets and Lakers revisited those conversations once Irving made his trade request but, in the end, they preferred the Mavericks’ offer over the one the Lakers presented.
“The Nets-Mavericks talks accelerated on a trade today, sources said. The Lakers and Nets had several conversations on a potential deal, but Nets preferred Mavs’ package — getting back a point guard and wing to plug in now plus the future picks,” Wojnarowski tweeted on February 5.
Another roadblock the Lakers faced in their negotiations was that Irving sought a four-year maximum contract from his next team. And with his sporadic availability over the last three seasons, the Lakers preferred to sign Irving to a two-year deal. It is one of the reasons Dan Woike of the Los Angeles Times said there was “pessimism” the Lakers would swing a deal for Irving.
“Changes could be coming — the trade deadline is Thursday. But after a day of rampant speculation, there’s pessimism that the Lakers will swing a deal for Kyrie Irving, because of the star Brooklyn point guard’s contract demands in free agency this summer, sources with knowledge of the situation not authorized to speak publicly told The Times,” Woike writes.
“Irving is expected to seek a four-year maximum contract, with the Lakers preferring a two-year deal, aligning with the two years remaining on James’ deal.”
Edmond Sumner Sends Strong Message After Nets Win
If the Nets’ last game was any indication of what to expect in the post-Kyrie era, it is something for Nets fans to get excited about. After trailing by more than 20 points in the first half, Brooklyn stormed back to secure a 125-123 win over the Washington Wizards on February 4.
While all the hype after the win was surrounding Nets guard Cam Thomas who scored a career-high 44 points, Nets guard Edmond Sumner also played a pivotal role in the win, netting 29 points on the evening. A Nets team without three of its All-Stars in Kyrie, Kevin Durant, and Ben Simmons, wasn’t given much chance to win heading into the matchup. But Sumner says the Nets never viewed that as a valid excuse to not compete.
“We’re not gonna make excuses for who’s out there, who’s not out there,” Sumner said after the win. “That’s just an easy cop-out. We are all professionals, we are all NBA players, and we all work out every day. We are in the gym, in the lab. So, us making excuses for who’s out there or not, we got to get the job done.”
It will be interesting to see how the Irving trade impacts the future of Nets star Kevin Durant.