Over the years, Mark Cuban’s Dallas Mavericks have been known to be led by a European star that they find and develop in the draft. That said star then is surrounded by a bunch of good role players, but never another superstar, despite there sometimes being rumors that one was on the way. But on Sunday that pattern changed when the Mavericks traded Spencer Dinwiddie, Dorian Finney-Smith, a first round pick, and a second round in exchange for superstar Kyrie Irving and an end of the bench piece in Markieff Morris. With their two stars set to hit the floor, Dallas is in for one heck of a ride the rest of this season, and there’s some things that will needed to be solved.
First off, it’s important to make clear that despite the variables of the deal that the Mavericks front office deserves a lot of credit. The past year has been full of fans demanding they pair superstar Luka Doncic with someone else who can create for themselves at an elite level. Mark Cuban and company heard the fans, and got the deal done. However, this trade by no means equates to an automatic finals run for the Mavericks.
The first problem is Kyrie Irving himself. Not his play necessarily on the court, but rather the baggage he brings with him off the court. It’s no secret Irving is difficult to control, and the world saw this multiple times in Brooklyn as he requested trades and even would leave the team at random times. All these traits are the exact opposite of what the Mavericks organization is. This is the same franchise who is used to loyal legends like Dirk Nowtizki that were beloved by many. It is fair to say that some adjusting will have to be done. In addition to this, there’s the issue of the contract extension Kyrie Irving wants from his new team. He’s hoping for a 4 year max contract deal that many teams would cite as the reason to not want to trade for him. If the Mavericks don’t want to pay Irving, he most likely leaves in the summer and the trade would go down as a blunder for Dallas.
As for the on court issues the Mavericks may face, they are much more manageable. Doncic and Irving will conduct an offense that very few if any teams can stop. Two of the greatest shot creators the game has ever seen together will create matchup nightmares every night. As for the defensive end, there may be more problems. Irving has never been a positive asset on defense and Doncic is by no means a two way defensive stopper. If in big games down the road Doncic or Irving falter on offense, the Mavericks season could come to an end. Depth is also an issue after the Mavs traded away the aforementioned Dinwiddie and Finney-Smith, two key rotational players, and the team may look to make another trade or look towards the buyout market to create a supporting cast that won’t waste Irving and Doncic’s effort. But, in the world that things do work out well enough, the Mavericks ceiling is as high as any team, it’s just about whether they can do what the Nets couldn’t with Irving; understand him and win with him.
This trade could be one that’s talked about as the turning point in Luka Doncic’s quest for a championship, or go down as another team falling for the trap of trading for Kyrie Irving. The Mavericks will have a little less than 30 regular season games to gel their new look team together, before they go on their first playoff run with two superstars on the roster.
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