Mavericks’ Kyrie Irving Sends Strong Message to Kevin Durant After Nets Exit

Kyrie Irving of the Dallas Mavericks.

Getty Kyrie Irving of the Dallas Mavericks.

The Dallas Mavericks kicked off the NBA Trade Deadline festivities when they landed Kyrie Irving on February 5. Irving’s exit from the Brooklyn Nets was the first domino to fall in what was a chaotic week. The next major development came just after 1 a.m. Eastern Time on February 9, when news broke that the Nets had traded star forward Kevin Durant to the Phoenix Suns.

Irving, who had just wrapped up his Mavericks debut against the Los Angeles Clippers, spoke to the press shortly after reports surfaced of Durant’s trade. The 30-year-old sent a strong message to his former teammate, sharing his excitement that the two will get to compete against one another.

“Competition as brothers. You know, I’m just praying for his happiness, praying for his well being. We had a lot of conversations throughout the year of what our futures were going to look like, there was still a level of uncertainty,” Irving said via Brad Townsend. “But, we just cared about seeing each other be places where we can thrive, and whether that be together or whether that be apart, there’s never been one moment where I’ve felt like he’s been angry at me for the decisions I’ve made, or I’ve been angry at him. We’ve just tried to understand each other a lot better and grow as human beings, grow as brothers. This business changes so quickly. He’s getting a little bit older, I’m getting a little bit older. I just love the competition now that we can be in the same conference and I welcome all of that. I’ll get to see him a little bit more, probably playing against Phoenix a lot more. That’s what I’m looking forward to. Everything else in between, I’m just glad he got out of there.”

Kyrie Irving Shines in Mavericks Debut

In his first game wearing blue and white, Irving lead Dallas in scoring. He poured in 24 points on 9-17 shooting, knocking down four 3-pointers in the process. The star guard also dished 5 assists and secured 4 rebounds.

The former No. 1 overall pick played the entire fourth quarter, scoring 8 points to help the Mavericks secure the 110-104 victory at Arena.

Kyrie Irving Could Leave Mavericks, Join Kevin Durant in Phoenix

Dallas swung a deal for Irving knowing that his contract will expire at the end of the season. The Mavericks will have enough cap space to offer the star guard a lucrative contract to stay in town, but there’s no guarantee he’ll want to stick around.

ESPN’s Brian Windhorst hinted that Irving could jump ship as early as this summer, during a recent appearance on Get Up.

“Well, first off, I’d like to just point out that Kyrie and James Harden are free agents in the summer,” Windhorst said. “So, if you think this is over, it ain’t over. And Kyrie was interested in being in Phoenix, so just start thinking about that.”

If Irving was to join Durant with the Suns, it would have to be via sign and trade, as Phoenix does not have the cap space to sign him outright. It may not sound all that logical for Dallas to agree to a deal to send the guy that they just traded for away. But, if he wants to force his way out, it’d be better for the Mavs to get something in return rather than losing him for nothing.

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