Contentious Nets-Kyrie Irving saga finally ends with a Mavs risky trade

Kyrie Irving, Brooklyn Nets
May 6, 2021; Dallas, Texas, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) shoots over Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) during the third quarter at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

From a clean sweep in the 2019 free agency to cleaning up the mess four years later.

The tumultuous Kyrie Irving era in Brooklyn finally ended Sunday as the Nets sent the disgruntled star to Dallas Mavericks for Spencer Dinwiddie, Dorian Finney-Smith and multiple picks, according to multiple reports.

The blockbuster trade gives the Mavericks the coveted second star to slot next to Luka Doncic, a huge but risky upgrade from Jalen Brunson, who they lost to the New York Knicks in free agency.

The Mavericks are also sending an unprotected 2029 first-round pick, and two second-round picks (2027 and 2029) to the Nets for Irving and Markieff Morris, according to ESPN.

The Nets hope this ending of the contentious Irving saga is the beginning of stability for the franchise that had endured controversies after controversies with their former star guard.

Irving only appeared in 143 games for the Nets in four tumultuous seasons that saw him miss more time due to injuries, personal reasons, refusal to take the COVID-19 vaccine, and an eight-game suspension earlier this season for promoting a movie filled with antisemitic tropes.

It’s a full-circle moment, albeit not the ending the Nets hoped for when they signed Irving four years ago, as they are reunited with Dinwiddie, their former player who played a crucial role in recruiting Irving in the lead-up to the 2019 free agency that also landed them Kevin Durant.

If Dinwiddie can recapture his breakout form during the 2019-20 season when he averaged a career-high 20.6 points and 6.8 assists, it will be a big help to fill the void left by Irving.

Finney-Smith gives the Nets size and versatility. He is expected to reprise his Mavericks role with the Nets as their most dependable wing defender.

The 2029 Mavericks’ first-round pick is a calculated gamble for the Nets. The dream scenario for them to convey that pick into the lottery is for the Doncic-Irving pairing to fizzle out, which could lead the Slovenian star to bolt out of the Mavericks in the near future. Doncic has a player option in the final year of his contract during the 2026-27 season.

Irving represents another risky gamble for the Mavericks, who had already flopped with another former New York star Kristaps Porzingis in the recent past.

Follow this writer on Twitter: @alderalmo

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