Kyrie Irving is getting his wish. He’s getting traded.
And Luka Doncic is getting another All-Star to help him in Dallas.
The Mavericks and Brooklyn Nets agreed Sunday on a blockbuster trade: Irving — the super-talented and often-enigmatic eight-time All-Star point guard — heads to Dallas in exchange for Spencer Dinwiddie, Dorian Finney-Smith and a package of draft picks, according to a person familiar with the terms of the deal who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because it had not been finalized.
The Athletic and ESPN first reported the trade agreement. It will become complete once the teams have a call with the NBA, which is standard for all trades.
The move comes just two days after Irving told the Nets that he wanted to be traded by Thursday’s league deadline, after talks about a contract beyond this season didn’t go to his liking. He wasn’t with the Nets for their game Saturday, and by Sunday afternoon, his time in Brooklyn appeared to be at an end.
It was not immediately clear when Irving would make his debut with Dallas. The Mavericks play at Utah on Monday night.
Irving is averaging 27.1 points, 5.3 assists and 5.1 rebounds this season. Doncic is averaging 33.4 points, 8.9 rebounds and 8.2 assists. They instantly become one of the NBA’s top duos, and figure to make Dallas even a stronger contender in a Western Conference that has no shortage of championship-capable teams.
Irving is, for now, scheduled to become a free agent after the season. The Los Angeles Lakers were believed to have been one of a few teams interested in Irving — a notion that could have reunited Irving with LeBron James, with whom he won a title with in Cleveland in 2016.
The trade does again pair Irving with Dallas general manager Nico Harrison, who was a Nike executive before taking over the Mavericks in 2021. Irving had a relationship with Nike for the entirety of his NBA career until earlier this season, when the sneaker giant dropped him — and canceled the planned release of his next signature shoe just before it dropped — as part of the massive fallout from Irving posting a link to an antisemitic film on his Twitter account.
That was one of many drama-filled sagas that marked Irving’s time with the Nets. He wouldn’t get vaccinated against COVID-19 and, because of New York City workplace rules, had to miss most of Brooklyn’s home games last season. He also took two leaves of absence during the 2020-21 season.
He has also expressed no shortage of controversial opinions during his career — including repeated questioning whether the Earth was round before eventually apologizing to science teachers.