Mavericks HC Kidd believes Kyrie trade opens team championship window

Jason Kidd is extremely optimistic about the Dallas Mavericks’ playoff chances after acquiring mercurial superstar Kyrie Irving from the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday.

In the biggest trade of the season so far, the Mavericks sent Spencer Dinwiddie, Dorian Finney-Smith, a first-round pick and two second-round picks to the Nets in exchange for Irving and the depth forward Markieff Morris.

The move means the Mavericks are the only team with two players named starters in this year’s All-Star Game, with Irving receiving his eighth overall selection after averaging 27.1 points, 5.3 assists and 5. 1 rebounds while playing in 40 of Brooklyn’s first games. 51 games.

Dallas made a surprising run to the Western Conference Finals last season with Jalen Brunson as Luka Doncic’s number two, and Kidd hasn’t been shy about calling Brunson’s move to Irving an upgrade.

“When you look at Ky, nothing against [Brunson], but Ky is on a different level,” he said. β€œIt gives us another weapon. Someone will be free. Someone is going to have the advantage.”

Doncic’s utilization rate of 37.6% is the second-highest in the league behind Philadelphia 76ers centerpiece Joel Embiid (37.8%), and Kidd said the addition of Irving should help this number return to a more sustainable level.

“When you look [Doncic’s] usage, it’s at 99.9, so it’s got to go down,” he joked. ‘It’s going to go down – and that’s a good thing. That’s not a bad thing.

“He will be stronger in the fourth [quarter], the team will be better. Then the trust between the two – it’s going to take a while to get that rhythm and that confidence, but Ky wants to win.

“We’re always going to preach defence, being able to get saves, but there are going to be nights where we’re going to try to make you uncomfortable on the attacking side with a score of 130 or 140.

“Some nights you will have to use attack as defense, but Ky is going to play defensively. Luka is going to play defensively.

“But when you look at the attacking side, can we put pressure on the opposition, and are they going to be comfortable being able to score that many points?”

Kidd referenced Irving’s record as a champion with the LeBron James-led Cleveland Cavaliers in 2016, where Irving hit the game-winning three-pointer against Stephen Curry in their Game 7 road win.

“You look at his journey at other stops, he won where he went,” he said. “We think the talent and its ability to make us better is something we needed.

“We think having him will help us to be able to win a championship.”

Irving’s former Nets teammate Theo Pinson will be a familiar face in Dallas, and he said he’s excited to see how teams decide to keep the duo dynamic.

“Choose your poison,” he said. “It’s one of those things where I don’t know what you’re doing, personally – I really don’t.

“You can trap Luka all you want now. We’re tossing him to another killer. It’ll be fun to watch.”

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