The trade market is officially closed in the NBA. From the busy final days ahead of the trade deadline, many stars found a new home in the league. One of the biggest blockbuster moves was Kyrie Irving to the Dallas Mavericks. This means it is time for some Dallas Mavericks bold predictions as they are pairing Irving with Luka Doncic.
Dallas acquired Irving alongside Markieff Morris from the Brooklyn Nets in exchange for Spencer Dinwiddie, Dorian Finney-Smith, a 2029 first-round pick and two second-round selections. The deal came just two days after Irving requested a trade. The move ultimately resulted in Kevin Durant also leaving the Nets in a trade to the Phoenix Suns.
As for the Mavericks, they bring in an All-Star point guard who is averaging 27.1 points, 5.3 assists and 5.1 rebounds plus a steal a night. Irving is shooting 48.6% from the field, 37.4% from the 3-point line and 88.3% from the charity stripe.
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Dallas’ odds of winning the title went from +1900 to +1400 when the trade happened, according to FanDuel. While many major trades occurred following that move, the Mavericks are still in good shape with Doncic and Irving.
With that being said, here are some bold predictions for the Dallas Mavericks’ Kyrie Irving-Luka Doncic duo after the 2023 NBA trade deadline.
3. Kyrie Irving-Luka Doncic becomes one of the most efficient backcourts in the NBA
While the addition of Irving could be a game-changer for the Mavs, there are still some questions surrounding his fit with Doncic. Both players are ball-dominant players who take a lot of shots. Also, since both are point guards, one of them will have to move off the ball to accommodate the other.
Still, regardless of that, the Irving-Doncic pairing could be one of the scariest duos in the NBA once the Slovenian returns from his injury. For the season, the four-time All-Star is averaging a league-high 33.4 points, 8.9 rebounds and 8.2 assists. He is making 50.4% of his field goals, 35.3% of his 3-pointers and 72.8% of his free throws.
While Doncic will no doubt remain Dallas’ offensive alpha dog, the presence of Irving is bound to ease his ridiculous scoring and playmaking burden. While it might take some time to adapt, this could be a good thing for the Mavericks’ long-term goals. With Irving, Doncic can take fewer shots and play more without the ball.
Although this means his number will slightly go down, he will also get easier looks with defenses having to worry about Irving. Just as importantly, Doncic can preserve his energy and body for the postseason.
The bold prediction is that Irving and Doncic will become one of if not the most efficient backcourt pairing in the NBA. Both can create their own shots and can rely on each other to make a big play.
2. Both Irving and Doncic earn All-NBA honors
Doncic currently has the fourth-best odds of winning the Most Valuable Player award at +1000, according to FanDuel. He is behind Nikola Jokic, Joel Embiid and Giannis Antetokounmpo. If he keeps playing like he was prior to the injury, he could finish the year as a top-five player in the MVP voting.
As an MVP contender, Doncic seems like a lock for an All-NBA honor, with a First Team selection as a real possibility.
For Irving, he would need to shine in Dallas. Due to his off-court controversies, some voters might leave him off of their ballots. Also, the rise of young guards such as Ja Morant and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and even Doncic could take votes away from him.
The bold prediction is that thanks to the impact he will have, Irving will also earn an All-NBA selection. Should that happen, the Mavericks will be in a good position to compete for bigger things in the postseason.
1. Irving and Doncic lead the Mavs to the Western Conference Finals
At the end of the day, the Irving trade shows that the Mavericks have a win-now mentality. They could have gone for Irving or another big free agent in the offseason but opted to bring him in now, even if it meant losing important rotational players such as Dinwiddie and Finney-Smith.
Combining Irving and Doncic, Dallas becomes one of the scariest teams in the West. Both could put up 30-plus points each night. Additionally, Doncic averages close to a triple-double, showing how he can impact the game in multiple areas.
Notably, Irving has a huge playoff history. This includes three consecutive appearances in the NBA Finals and a championship in 2016, all with the Cleveland Cavaliers alongside LeBron James. Adding his experience to Doncic’s MVP-level play, it is possible Dallas competes for a title this season.
Now with two stars on the roster, the bold prediction is that the Mavericks will reach at least the Western Conference Finals. Depending on which team they face, things could get complicated on the defensive end, especially against the Suns and Durant. Still, with Irving and Doncic, Dallas could even make it to the NBA Finals for the first time since winning the title in 2011.