Before the Nets agreed to send Kyrie Irving to Dallas, the Clippers made an offer that included Luke Kennard, Terance Mann, a future first-round pick, and two first-round pick swaps, league sources tell Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer. As O’Connor notes, at least one more outgoing salary would’ve been required for the Clippers to accommodate Irving’s incoming cap hit, but he says that was the “gist” of L.A.’s offer.
Since the Clippers already owe their 2024 and 2026 first-round picks to Oklahoma City and have given OKC swap rights in 2023 and 2025, we can safely assume that their alleged offer for Irving would’ve included their 2028 first-rounder, with swap rights in 2027 and 2029 — the Stepien rule doesn’t allow teams to leave themselves without first-round picks in consecutive future years, while the “seven year rule” doesn’t permit clubs to trade draft picks more than seven years out.
For what it’s worth, ESPN’s Zach Lowe said on the latest episode of his Lowe Post podcast (YouTube link) that he doesn’t believe O’Connor’s reporting is accurate and that he thinks the Clippers’ final offer for Irving was worth less than that.
Whatever the offer was, it wasn’t enough to entice Brooklyn to make a deal, so the Clippers will now have to adjust to the fact that Irving will be playing alongside Luka Doncic for one of their conference rivals.
“Don’t make me think about it right now, please,” Clippers coach Tyronn Lue said on Monday when asked about the Mavericks‘ new backcourt duo (Twitter link via Andrew Greif of The Los Angeles Times). “We play them Wednesday. I don’t want to think about that already. It’s going to be a tough challenge. Kyrie’s a guy we’ve always blitzed in the past, Luka’s always a guy we’ve blitzed in the past, and now they got two of them, so like I said, it’s going to be a tough challenge for a lot of teams in the West.”
Here are a few more tidbits related to the Kyrie trade, which became official on Monday:
- Bobby Marks of ESPN (Twitter link) has the details on the new cap hits for Irving, Dorian Finney-Smith, and Spencer Dinwiddie following the trade. The cap figures for Irving and Finney-Smith got a bump as a result of trade bonuses, while Dinwiddie’s declined because some of his bonuses are now considered unlikely instead of likely. Those bonuses are tied to his team’s playoff success and are based on the previous season’s results — they had been considered likely because the Mavericks made the Western Finals last season, but Dinwiddie’s new team, the Nets, didn’t win a playoff series in 2022.
- Irving’s track record of recruiting star teammates was a factor in the Mavericks‘ desire to acquire him, according to Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News (Twitter link). Based on reporting at the time, it was Kyrie who convinced Kevin Durant to join him in Brooklyn back in 2019 when the two stars opted to sign with the Nets.
- Nets head coach Jacque Vaughn said on Monday that he’s looking forward to coaching Dinwiddie and Finney-Smith, but wishes Irving nothing but the best in Dallas, per Nick Friedell of ESPN. “My interactions with Kai have always been positive,” Vaughn said. “I enjoyed coaching him. I want him to succeed. I’ll keep it that simple. We’ve had some ups and downs I guess along the way. I’ve also seen the young man score 60 points. I’ve also seen him bring his kids into the locker room. I’ve also seen him grow as an individual and be a better teammate than when I first met him. So for me, I’m going to always look at the good in people and want the good in people. And I want him to succeed.”