The Kyrie Irving trade may lead to a flurry of deals before Thursday’s deadline, but John Hollinger of The Athletic expects most teams to hold onto their first-round picks in case three of the NBA’s biggest stars become available this summer.
It’s barely been seven months since Kevin Durant‘s last trade demand, and even if he doesn’t request it, Hollinger believes the Nets may consider moving him in the offseason. Durant will turn 35 in September, and Hollinger points out that he’s the only star left on a Brooklyn team that no longer looks like a contender and may not have the draft assets to pull off a major addition.
Hollinger also expects rival teams to start monitoring Luka Doncic‘s happiness in Dallas, especially if the Irving deal backfires. He cites league executives who speculated over the past week that acquiring Irving could be toxic for the Mavericks on the theory that he could eventually cause Doncic to ask to leave, the same way James Harden did in Brooklyn when he was paired with Irving. Even if Irving turns out to be a short-term addition, Dallas parted with two rotation players plus draft capital in the deal and doesn’t have an obvious path to improve.
The third star worth watching, according to Hollinger, is LeBron James, who tweeted “Maybe It’s Me” on Sunday after seeing the Lakers miss another opportunity to add talent. James was reportedly a strong proponent of trading for Irving, his former teammate in Cleveland.
There’s more on the Irving deal:
- Even though they gave up the best player in the deal, Kevin O’Connor of the Ringer believes the Nets are in a better position. Spencer Dinwiddie and Dorian Finney-Smith provide additional depth, giving the team possibly 12 players capable of handling regular rotation minutes. O’Connor adds that Brooklyn could still use a backup center and states that the organization still has interest in the Timberwolves‘ Naz Reid.
- The Durant-Irving era, which began when both players signed with the Nets in 2019, will go down as a disappointment, says Adam Zagoria of NJ.com. Even after adding another All-Star by trading for Harden in 2021, Brooklyn managed to win just one playoff series. Zagoria notes that this time will always be a “what if?” for Nets fans.
- Bobby Marks of ESPN considers the trade a “win-win” for both teams (video link). He argues that Brooklyn got at least one starter, and maybe two, in return for Irving, while Dallas is taking an understandable chance to upgrade its talent level.
- In grading the deal, Zach Harper of The Athletic gives the Mavericks a C-plus because of the risk involved and the Nets a B, as long as the deal doesn’t alienate Durant.
20 thoughts on “Kyrie Irving Trade Notes: Durant, Doncic, LeBron, Grades”
I’d put money on it that Durant ends up with the Lakers y because the NBA’s biggest baby bit** will demand it
IMO he should go to Miami or Denver and maybe Phoenix (but only if he’s a FA)
Lakers do not have the assets to acquire Durant. The Knicks do!
How many times does KD have to say he’s NOT joining a team with LeBron PERIOD!! I swear nobody wants LeBron to actually EARN a ring, they want him with AD, Embiid, KD and Kyrie!!
I think you’re saying nobody wants LeBron to get ‘another’ ring. if so, perhaps, its prob also an ego/competitor thing, higher accolades for beating him and anyone on the team WITH him will always be second in the limelight. A lot of these players want to be #1 in the light. I think the Warriors are a great example of team over individual.
Well Stern manufactured those rings so can’t say the player earned them at all.
LeBron has already earned several rings. The fact that he has had teammates while playing a team sport doesn’t invalidate anything.
He only has 3.5. Does that count as several? I’m not sure.
David Stern earned them moreso by doing all the BS he did and changes he made to cater to him you mean.
Sounds like Durant might end up with Celtics. I wonder what the Celtics are offering.
To much if Brown is in it if they can do it without giving up him, Tatum and R. Williams and IMO AL
Trade him to the West, get your 4 firsts and at least 1 young player and salary filler that’s expiring or will expire after next season.
I don’t know how the Mavericks can get any grade lower than a B+. Just a great trade to help Luka now they just need a wing to replace DFS.
Because they gave up two solid role players and three picks for a half season question mark
If Kyrie couldn’t win or stay happy with his best friend KD why does anyone think he can with Luca??
I think Kyrie is too sensitive and also combative to be in the NYC market. The media and fans are vicious and sometimes and when you’re a target they can become overly intrusive, the latter I don’t fault any athlete who speaks out against it.
Does an “NYC market” really even exist anymore? Feels like tired sports radio cliche. So much sports reporting is national at this point and younger fans follow players versus teams anyway.
Any basketball fan in NY only cares about the Knicks anyway.
Apparently Kyrie wanted the Lakers trade but Tsai rejected it!
If that’s true well done!! don’t give in to someone that has cause constant trouble since joining.
B/R app this morning. Still on there(Stein reported)
We covered it as well: link to hoopsrumors.com