Mavericks Tout Addition of Kyrie Irving
The Dallas Mavericks are feeling pretty confident following their blockbuster trade with the Brooklyn Nets that landed them All-Star guard Kyrie Irving, who will now form one of the league’s most formidable backcourts with Luka Doncic.
Mavericks head coach Jason Kidd, who has a strong personal relationship with Irving, spoke at length about the addition of Irving, which instantly boosted the Mavericks to the top teams in the Western Conference.
“You look at his journey at other stops, he’s won where he’s gone,” Kidd said prior to Monday’s game against the Utah Jazz, according to ESPN’s Tim MacMahon. “We feel that the talent and his abilities to make us better are something that we needed. We feel that getting him is going to help put us in a position to win a championship.”
Irving, 30, will officially suit up for his new team on Wednesday night when they take on the Los Angeles Clippers.
Irving is no stranger to controversy, and his latest trade request from the Nets wasn’t the first of his career, but the Mavs are confident that the positives, such as Irving’s stellar offensive production, far outweigh any negatives.
“It’s easy to look at all the talk of the negative, but let’s look at the positive of what he’s done on and off the court,” Kidd said. “That’s the way we’re approaching it.”
“He’s all about basketball,” Kidd said. “He wants to win, and he wants to be coached, and this is a great opportunity for me to have someone like this to help.”
With the NBA trade deadline just a few days away, the Mavericks will continue to make moves, shopping guard Tim Hardaway Jr. and center/power forward Christin Wood.
“We’re still going to preach defense, being able to get stops, but there’s going to be nights where we’re going to try to make you feel uncomfortable on the offensive end with scoring 130 or 140,” Kidd said. “Some nights, you’re going to have to use the offense as your defense, but Kai’s going to compete on the defensive end. Luka’s going to compete on the defensive end. But when you look at the offensive end — can we put pressure on the opponent, and are they going to be comfortable to be able to score that many points?”
Irving is averaging 27.1 points and 5.3 assists per game this season.