Another pursuit of Kyrie Irving from the Lakers will not come to fruition, as the Brooklyn Nets have reportedly agreed to a trade with the Dallas Mavericks. The deal will see Spencer Dinwiddie, Dorian Finney-Smith, a first-round pick and second-rounders go to Brooklyn for Irving, according to multiple reports.
Shams Charania of The Athletic broke the news, and a multitude of reporters quickly followed with more context:
BREAKING: The Brooklyn Nets are trading Kyrie Irving to the Dallas Mavericks for Spencer Dinwiddie, Dorian Finney-Smith, a first-round and multiple second-round picks, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) February 5, 2023
Clarify: Mavs are sending 2029 first-round pick to the Nets. https://t.co/6ZPNsMbhdQ— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 5, 2023
The Nets-Mavericks talks accelerated on a trade today, sources said. The Lakers and Nets had several conversations on a potential deal, but Nets preferred Mavs' package -- getting back a point guard and wing to plug in now plus the future picks.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 5, 2023
One thing the Lakers had working against them is now crystallized - Nets main desire was to ensure their current team would be competitive around Kevin Durant whereas any LAL offer was built around a their future picks.— Dan Woike (@DanWoikeSports) February 5, 2023
Kyrie Irving has no assurances of a subsequent contract from the Mavericks, league sources tell me, but he will be eligible for a two-year extension worth in excess of $80 if he and Dallas look to continue the relationship beyond this season. https://t.co/J7PAbKsoGP— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) February 5, 2023
The Lakers, along with Dallas, Phoenix and the Clippers, were seen as the teams making the strongest pushes for Irving. Ultimately, it was Dallas that was willing to meet the asking price of the Nets in the deal.
This marks the second time in a year that the Lakers pursued Irving without landing him, the previous instance coming during the summer and Irving’s last trade request. Because of the lack of cap space the Lakers will likely have this summer and the assumed willingness for Dallas to sign Kyrie to a deal to keep him a Maverick — even if no such agreement is in place yet — this feels like the end of the Lakers’ pursuit of Irving... for now.
The package the Nets landed for Irving is one the Lakers likely couldn’t quite manage. Russell Westbrook was the obvious main piece that would be going to Brooklyn from Los Angeles and while he’s been better this season, he hasn’t been good. Compared to the win-now pieces in Dinwiddie and Finney-Smith the Nets got in return for Irving, the Lakers weren’t going to be able to match that deal.
The Lakers were reportedly willing to part with a host of future assets, whether in the form of draft picks in 2027 and 2029 or young players in Max Christie and Austin Reaves. As Adrian Wojnarowski noted, the Lakers and Mavericks had discussions that never came to fruition, likely because they couldn’t match the Mavericks' ability to offer currently impactful players.
Because of that, the Lakers fell out of contention in the Nets’ eyes, and now the team moves forward with only days left in the trade deadline and an apparent renewed willingness to trade Westbrook. The pursuit of Irving could happen perhaps one last time in free agency, but it will be far trickier then, and this really felt like the last chance the Lakers had at acquiring him, for better or for worse.
For all the latest heading into the NBA trade deadline, check out our Silver Screen and Roll Lakers trade rumors tracker. You can follow Jacob on Twitter at @JacobRude.