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Brooklyn Nets have reportedly traded Kyrie Irving to Mavericks, as Sixers title odds continue surging

Wow. The Kevin Durant-Kyrie Irving Brooklyn Nets tenure has officially ended. Luka Doncic has a new teammate.

Dallas Mavericks v Brooklyn Nets Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Wow. Well that happened in a New York minute. Kyrie Irving requested a trade on Friday of last week. And not two full days later, Joe Tsai and Mark Cuban and their respective front office teams apparently hashed it all out.

According to Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium, Irving is being traded to the Dallas Mavericks for 3-and-D wing Dorian Finney-Smith, Spencer Dinwiddie, a first-round pick, and multiple second-round picks.

Shams followed up his bombshell story with more details about the unprotected future first-rounder being sent to Brooklyn.

The Mavericks are already missing their upcoming pick, as that’s owned by the New York Knicks from the Kristaps Porzingis trade several seasons ago. The Knicks made that move to free up cap space to chase both Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving in July of 2019. They missed out on that duo, and it turns out they won the KP trade too.

The Mavs wanted KP to be Luka’s star running mate for years to come but that didn’t work out.

Dallas, who made the Western Conference Finals a season ago before losing Jalen Brunson to the thorn-in-their-side Knicks, was clearly desperate to not waste the prime years of their mega star Luka Doncic. It’s a big risk, as it was recently reported that Irving is seeking a long-term deal in the four years, $200M range. The Brooklyn Nets were reluctant to make that type of offer.

Making that type of commitment to a star who cannot seem to go four months without another team-crushing scandal is very risky. Cuban is a regular on the show Shark Tank, so we’ll see his negotiation and risk-tolerance skills truly put to the test now.

It’s a tough blow for LeBron James, who apparently wanted to reunite with his former teammate. James and Irving won a title together in Cleveland back in 2016. It was rumored Lakers’ GM Rob Pelinka was open to moving the Lakers 2027 and 2029 picks along with Russell Westbrook back in the summer. But more recent reports made it seem like he was unprepared to part with the second pick.

I can’t imagine how that will sit with the 38 year old King James.

If the Nets were really worried about Durant wanting to leave, that’s the type of deal (with more value in draft picks than veteran talent) they might have focused on.

This one they opted for (bringing in an unprotected pick) and a very talented role player in DFS, and an overpriced but capable scorer like former Nets guard Dinwiddie, might be more of a “needle-thread” move, where they can balance competing goals. They want to win a title while KD is in his prime. And they may want to think about a post-Durant world, especially if he decides to revisit his own trade request at some point.

I do not get the sense the Nets are done making moves. They own the Sixers 2027 first-round pick also, protected 1-8. They may want to shop Ben Simmons, and both of their new picks.

In my opinion, the Nets did pretty well here in terms of value. And the best news is that a formidable foe for Joel Embiid and co. in Philadelphia loses the best player in this trade.

We’ll see what happens with the picks the Nets now own. But Brooklyn was +600 to win the title on DraftKings last Thursday night. With the trade request, they dropped to +1400. And now they’ve plummeted much further down to +2500. All that, along with the multi-week absence Steph Curry is now facing, has dramatically shifted the odds for Philadelphia who now enjoys their shortest title odds of the season (+900).

By handling their own business, winning games, and now enjoying what appears in oddsmaker’s eyes at least as a bit of luck for Philly, the Sixers odds have doubled from +1800 back on Jan. 11th to +900 today. They move up from the 8th best odds overall to the 5th.

All in all, some good news for the Sixers.

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