Why Kyrie Irving-to-Mavericks trade concerns Draymond Green short, long-term

Why Mavs' Kyrie trade concerns Draymond short and long term originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

Draymond Green both is, and is not, a fan of the Dallas Mavericks' trade for Kyrie Irving.

Let us explain.

On the latest episode of the Draymond Green Show podcast, the Warriors' forward discussed the blockbuster deal that sent Irving and Markieff Morris from the Brooklyn Nets to the Mavericks in exchange for Spencer Dinwiddie, Dorian Finney-Smith, a 2029 first-round pick and two second-round picks.

Green and the Warriors defeated the Mavericks in the Western Conference Finals last summer. So, from a conference rival standpoint, Green is not happy that Dallas added one of the best players in the league.

"You had two of the best offensive talents in the NBA on the same team when Kyrie was with Brooklyn, as we all know what Kevin Durant is to this game of basketball, what he does and what he brings," Green said. "But now you got him with Luka [Dončić] ... I don't love it.

"The reason I don't love it? That's very hard to stop. Very hard to stop. Kyrie Irving is one of the best scorers we've seen. One of the best, if not the best ball handlers we've seen ... But Kyrie can spot-shoot. And, Luka, as we know, is finding you. So I don't love it from that standpoint. Not (that) I don't love the trade, I don't love it because, from an offensive standpoint, that's going to be tough tough tough to guard."

Although Green and the Warriors' jobs might have gotten harder for the remaining regular- and potential postseason matchups with the Mavericks, Green, from an unbiased standpoint, believes the trade was a net positive for Dallas.

Contrary to popular belief, Green also believes that adding Irving improves the Mavericks' defense.

"Defensively, I feel as of late in Kyrie's career he's defending more, he's taking on those challenges of guarding these great guards," Green added. "And so if Kyrie's going to continue taking on that challenge of guarding great guards as I don't see him stopping ... Was Spencer Dinwiddie a better defender than Kyrie? I think not. And no disrespect to Spencer Dinwiddie, but he's definitely not the offensive player Kyrie Irving is. So you have to know that team upgraded."

Of course, every blockbuster trade has its risks. And the downside for the Mavericks, in Green's opinion, is that if Irving (an unrestricted free agent after the 2022-23 season) does not sign a contract extension, then it could leave Dallas severely depleted after trading away everything it did to acquire the eight-time All-Star.

"What is the downside to this trade? The downside is Kyrie hasn't signed an extension, it doesn't work and you piss Luka off and Luka wants to leave," Green explained. "That's the downside to the trade. But again, if I'm the Dallas Mavericks and I'm [Mavericks GM Nico Harrison], you gotta swing. You have to swing, and they swung and now we'll see how it plays out. And then the other downside is ... Kyrie didn't sign an extension and Kyrie walks and you traded (everything they did)."

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The trade for Irving undoubtedly gives the Mavericks a lethal one-two punch, a nightmare matchup for any opponent. One of which, for at least one more game, will be Green and the Warriors.

Will this elite duo find a way to coexist and stay together past this season? That remains to be seen.

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