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Nets trade Kyrie Irving to Dallas for Spencer Dinwiddie, Dorian Finney-Smith, picks

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Denver Nuggets v Brooklyn Nets Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

The Nets and Kyrie Irving finally, after years of off-again on-again squabbling and failed interventions, have agreed to a divorce. In the process, Brooklyn has also renewed its relationship with an old flame, bringing back Spencer Dinwiddie.

Shams Charania was first with the news and the details...

Per Bobby Marks, the trade will also generate two trade exceptions for the Nets, one of $5.0 million, the other of $1.8 million which they can use at any point in the next year. The trade also saves Joe Tsai $28.8 million in luxury taxes, dropping the bill from $108 million to $80 million, barring any subsequent moves.

Adrian Wojnarowski, who tweeted out the trade a minute after Shams, said talks picked up Sunday.

Dinwiddie himself tweeted this in response to the reports...

Finney-Smith told the Dallas Morning News that the trade is bittersweet.

“I’m good,” he told Brad Townsend after returning to Dallas from San Francisco, where earlier Sunday he learned that he had been traded. “It sort of feels bittersweet.

“I feel like I’ve grown a lot here in Dallas,” he said. “It’s like my second home. I’ve been here my whole career. Shoot, besides Virginia this is the longest I’ve ever been anywhere else.”

Finney-Smith also said it’s possible he could be moved again.

“It makes you feel good that the league sees the work that I’ve put in,” he added. “But you never know. We’ve still got four more days and you never know what can happen.”

Chris Haynes reported Irving is also happy with his new destination...

The Nets and Mavericks do not play each other again this season.

The Mavs have long been looking for a superstar to pair with Luka Doncic. At least four teams had reportedly expressed interest in the 30-year-old combo guard after he told ownership — but not his teammates — on Friday that he wanted out following failed contract negotiations. In addition to the Mavericks and Lakers, the Suns and Clippers had interest. Mavs GM Nico Harrison, a former Nike executive, coach Jason Kidd, and senior director of pro personnel Matt Riccardi all have longstanding relationships with Irving, no doubt easing any anxiety Mark Cuban may have had about acquiring the often mercurial Irving.

Still, no word on how the move will sit with Kevin Durant, one of Irving’s best friends and the player who wooed him to Brooklyn. Durant has not commented on Irving’s trade request and Woj reported that KD, like the rest of his teammates, was shocked by the trade request. He did not attend Saturday’s win over the Wizards. Meanwhile, his sprained MCL is scheduled to be re-evaluated as early as Monday. In his last comments before the trade request, Durant said he wanted to get back on the court for games prior to the All-Star Game on February 19. The Nets have three games this week, all at home, vs. the Clippers on Monday, the Suns on Tuesday and the Bulls on Thursday, after the 3:00 p.m. ET trade deadline.

Here’s thumbnails of the Nets two new players, one of whom fans are familiar with.

  • The 6’6” Dinwiddie, 29, played five years with the Nets becoming a fan favorite. He was traded to Washington in a five-team deal in August 2021, then again six months later to Dallas. This year, Dinwiddie is averaging 17.7 points on 46/41/82 shooting splits while handing out 5.0 assists and grabbing 3.1 rebounds. Dinwiddie is under contract this year and next. He will earn $20 million this year and $21 million next. He can be extended this July.
  • The 6’7” Finney Smith, also 29, has played his entire seven-year career with Dallas, where he too was a fan favorite. This year, the 3-and-D wing is averaging 9.1 points on 42/36/75 shooting splits while grabbing 4.7 boards. He is under contract for the next four years at $55 million. He earns $12.4 million this season.

Bobby Marks and Tim MacMahon supplied some nitty gritty on the deal...

The additional picks will give the Nets draft capital to make additional moves before Thursday if they so desire. With the Mavs 2029 pick, the Nets will now have three firsts they could move in a subsequent trade at the deadline, two in 2027 and one in 2029, as well as six seconds through 2029. Yossi Gozlan explains...

At halftime of Sunday’s game on ESPN, Woj reported that the Nets want to move the newly acquired Dallas pick in 2027 and the Mavs pick in 2029 before the deadline. (The Nets have other firsts but they can’t trade them because of the Stepien Rule which prohibits teams from giving up firsts in subsequent years.)

Irving was on the court a little more than half — 143 of 278 — of the games the Nets played since he joined them in 2019. While Irving’s play on the court was impeccable, he became embroiled in one controversy after another, often leading to suspensions and fines.

After COVID hit in 2020, he violated league rules by hosting a birthday party for his father and sister and was fined by the league. He also reportedly tried, as a players union vice president, to get NBA players to boycott the NBA “Bubble” following the killing of George Floyd.

In January 2021, he disappeared from the team for seven games which the Nets described as personal leave and was again fined. Although Irving never explained his absence, reports indicated that he was upset with white supremacists assault on the U.S. Capitol ... and the obvious disparity with their treatment vs. that accorded unarmed black people. He played well that season becoming one of four players in NBA history to put up 50/40/90 shooting splits while averaging 25 points a game. But he was injured in the second round vs. the Bucks and the Nets lost in Game 7 of that series while Milwaukee went on to win the NBA title.

Then at the beginning of last season, he refused to get vaccinated against COVID-19 in violation of a city mandate, missing the first 35 games of the season and ultimately playing in only 29. Irving said being unvaccinated “is about being true and what feels good for me.”He later apologized but the Nets season fell apart and they were swept in the first round of the playoffs by the Celtics.

After contentious negotiations on an extension in June, during which Irving provided the Nets with a list of five teams he’d prefer, Irving decided to opt in to the last year of his contract. That meant he would become a free agent in July. Irving wanted a fully guaranteed deal. The Nets wanted options, based on his previous absences. Four days after Irving decided to opt in, Durant asked for a trade, leading to a seven-week standoff that ended only after meetings between Joe Tsai and Durant in London and Los Angeles.

Finally this season, he was, not once but twice, involved with particularly ugly controversies. In September, he retweeted an old video from Alex Jones, the conspiracy theorist, that the U.S. government releases “diseases and viruses and plagues upon us” as a control mechanism. Not long after, in late October, he seemingly promoted an anti-Semitic video that ultimately led to him being suspended for eight games for “refused to unequivocally say he has no antisemitic beliefs, nor acknowledge specific hateful material in the film.” Following his publicizing the video, “From Hebrews to Negroes, Wake Up Black America,” shot to the top of two Amazon best sellers categories, presumably propelled by his postings.

Then, two days ago, Irving asked for a trade after he and the Nets couldn’t reach an agreement on an extension. Again, Irving wanted a fully guaranteed deal, the Nets wanted options.

Again, though, Irving was playing at the top of his game, averaging 27.1 points, 5.3 assists and 5.1 rebounds a game in 40 games, having missed 12 due to both controversy and injury. It was that disparity between on court and off court that ultimately led to his departure.