Nets still exploring trade scenarios around Kyrie Irving deal

[ Update: The Kyrie Irving trade became official shortly after this report. ]

The Brooklyn Nets agreed in principle to trade Kyrie Irving to the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday for Dorian Finney-Smith, Spencer Dinwiddie, a 2029 unprotected first-round pick and two future second-rounders. That deal has not yet been completed, league sources told Yahoo Sports, and the Nets have actively explored ways to expand the trade into a three-team framework that further upgrades Brooklyn’s roster around Kevin Durant.

The Raptors have shown interest in Dinwiddie in the past, sources said, and the concept of moving the draft capital plus the combo guard to Toronto for Fred VanVleet became a popular idea among league executives by Sunday night. But sources said the Nets do not intend to move Dinwiddie, though Brooklyn and Toronto remain engaged in trade conversation as Thursday’s 3 p.m. ET trade deadline looms.

There remains hefty skepticism among league personnel that the Raptors will actually move All-Star forward Pascal Siakam this week, despite interest from the Nets and other teams, sources said. Talented forward O.G. Anunoby has been the name rival executives have monitored the most outside of VanVleet and Gary Trent Jr., and between Finney-Smith and Royce O’Neale, the Nets have clearly targeted two-way wings as reinforcements around Durant dating to last summer.

Toronto’s front office has targeted other Nets players in the past. The Raptors were one of the teams that registered interest in Ben Simmons during his efforts to be traded from Philadelphia last season, sources said. And before last year’s trade deadline, Toronto and Brooklyn discussed dealing Nic Claxton, sources said, as the Raptors shopped a package of Goran Dragic and a first-round pick around the league. The Nets ultimately held on to the young center and rewarded Claxton with a two-year, $17 million deal in the offseason.

Brooklyn has been steadfast in its commitment to completing only trades that improve the Nets’ chances of winning a championship with Durant front and center. Brooklyn would have looked to reroute Russell Westbrook and the Lakers’ two first-round picks it could've received for Irving to acquire better win-now pieces around Durant, sources told Yahoo Sports. The Nets chose the Mavericks’ 2029 unprotected first-round pick and a pair of future second-rounders instead of pushing Dallas to include burgeoning wing Josh Green, sources said, particularly with the mind that future draft capital often holds greater trade value than current players.

If Dinwiddie does get moved, the Clippers have valued the combo guard dating to last season’s trade deadline, sources said, and Los Angeles remains in the hunt for point guard reinforcements after checking with Brooklyn about the viability of landing Irving. There was, however, at least an interesting notion that several front offices around the league believed word of the Clippers’ bidding for Irving was some form of smokescreen.

FILE - Brooklyn Nets' Kyrie Irving during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Detroit Pistons Thursday, Jan. 26, 2023 in New York. All-Star guard Kyrie Irving has asked the Nets for a trade. He made the request after talks about a new contract did not go to his liking, a person told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because talks were to remain private. It was first reported by ESPN and The Athletic. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II, File)
The Nets are still working to finalize the Kyrie Irving trade. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II, File)