Kyrie Irving alongside Luka Doncic takes the Mavs to the next level...right?
The NBA team contagion has jumped hosts and moved to Dallas. He wanted out of Brooklyn in the offseason and didn't get his wish, as the Nets front office didn't think there was any offer worthwhile...now that has changed. When I caught wind of the Kyrie Irving trade, my first thought was, "jeez, who's the victim?" I want to like Kyrie more than I currently do - he has the best handle EVER and is incredible to watch. But wherever he goes he creates turmoil. Do I think this trade was good for Dallas?
Nah. I think they're going to be hurting.
Only One Ball
Sure, it's good that Luka Doncic can take a bit of a load off since his usage rate is off the charts and any coach or front office does not want their top player to break down. Kyrie will certainly take a lot of work off of Luka's back, but a problem arises with these two. Ball dominance.
Both love to have the rock in their hands, both love to score, and both love to create. This idea of sharing might be hard to achieve and the offense might struggle to play together. OR, which I think is unlikely, they go full ISO mode, though I think opposing defenses will figure out a stop to that. It just does not seem like having multiple ball-dominant players on a roster does you any favors.
Dallas already plays garbage defense and just traded away Dorian Finney-Smith, who is their best defender, along with Spencer Dinwiddie, who's a solid all-around player. Kyrie plays the kind of defense you see at 8 AM on a Sunday at the YMCA...same with Luka. A 23rd-ranked defense is going to fall further. This will be a major hole come playoff time. Dallas needs to add another household name to the roster if they want to compete. I'm a bit surprised they made this trade.
The Brooklyn Nets, on the other hand, just picked up two serviceable role players and essentially have a deeper bench now. Once Durant is back and healthy, assuming he's still buying in, the Nets should still be a formidable foe in the East.
Time will tell who this trade pays off for the most, but one thing is for certain; the West just got more interesting.