When Kyrie Irving issued a trade request on Friday, not many expected the Nets to find a trade for him by the end of the weekend. Irving’s market figured to be complicated, to say the least, but on Sunday the Dallas Mavericks made an offer Brooklyn couldn’t pass up, sending Spencer Dinwiddie, Dorian Finney-Smith, and picks to the Nets for the All-Star guard.
While the Mavs were one of the teams on the list of suitors from the beginning, they were not considered the team most motivated to land Irving, as most expected the Lakers to reunite Irving with LeBron James in their pursuit of a roster overhaul. The problem the Lakers ran into was they just did not have a good enough package to offer Brooklyn, and the Mavs’ offer was simply more enticing. Russell Westbrook and picks wasn’t exactly a great option for the Nets, who are trying to thread the needle between getting some future assets while also giving themselves a chance to remain competitive with Kevin Durant, for now, still on the roster and coming back soon.
As such, the Lakers now enter deadline week facing even more pressure to upgrade the roster than already existed, because their top target just went to a fellow West playoff contender. That seems to have not sat very well with LeBron James, who didn’t shy away from noting he thinks Kyrie would help the Lakers this weekend after Irving issued his trade request, with a tweet that is either some commentary on Kyrie to Dallas or he’s listening to some Taylor Swift on a Sunday evening.
No one knows how to play their role in the NBA’s soap opera better than LeBron, and with just a few days until the trade deadline, he will continue to exert whatever pressure he can on the Lakers to make another move — without outright saying that, of course. With Kyrie now in Dallas, it’ll be interesting to see who Rob Pelinka and company target and/or circle back on, but for now the player James has been trying to get since this summer is headed to Dallas.