With Kyrie Irving, Dallas Mavericks should be considered a favorite in the West

Kyrie Irving (Daniel Dunn-USA TODAY Sports)
Kyrie Irving (Daniel Dunn-USA TODAY Sports) /

After acquiring Kyrie Irving, the Dallas Mavericks should probably be considered a favorite in the Western Conference.

Just a couple of days ago, a bomb was dropped on the NBA when it was reported that Kyrie Irving had requested a trade away from the Brooklyn Nets. And he wanted to be moved before the NBA Trade Deadline. Well, with a few days to spare, Kyrie officially has a new team.

Kyrie (and Markieff Morris) has been traded to the Dallas Mavericks in exchange for Spencer Dinwiddie, Dorian Finney-Smith, a future first-round pick and two second-round picks. The Mavs finally have their second superstar next to Luka Doncic and the Nets’ chapter with Kyrie is officially over.

The next few days could prove to be interesting as I’m sure we’ll get the complete story in pieces from all perspectives involved, but the headline is here – Kyrie joins Luka in Dallas. And the hype surrounding this team will certainly be present.

So much so that you can’t help but suggest that the Mavs should probably be considered a favorite in the Western Conference heading into the second half of the season.

Can the Dallas Mavericks live up to expectations?

Any team with two players as good as Luka and Kyrie should be a favorite. Just look at how Kyrie and Kevin Durant were treated when they were healthy heading into the playoffs. You could never count them out and they were considered to be a dark horse in nearly every series. Even in the series in which they were swept.

Nevertheless, the same will be for the Mavs heading into the playoffs this season. Luka may be better than KD at this point in his career, if not he’s quite close, and Kyrie is having one of his better seasons to date.

Before being traded to the Mavs, Kyrie was averaging 27 points, five rebounds, and five assists on 49 percent shooting from the field and 37 percent shooting from 3-point range. For all the reasons why you can dislike Kyrie, most of which are due to his off-the-court missteps, you can’t deny that he’s a really, really great basketball player.

From a simply basketball perspective, you can make an argument that he’s a generational scorer. He is one of the best finishers at the rim for a player his size and does things on-ball that not many others in the history of the league could do.

But, his off-the-court issues.

That will be the big concern for the Mavs after this move. On paper, this team should be good. Really good. And have the chance to be great. Whether or not you believe that this team can win a title or not is irrelevant. A duo of Kyrie and Luka on the offensive end may not be able to be stopped.

And in the playoffs, that can take them a far way. If they can be average, or better, on the defensive end of the floor, this team will have a shot to emerge in what appears to be a wide-open Western Conference.

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The Mavs finally have their second star and Luka finally has his supporting star. This is a hugely polarizing move; it’s easy to see why. But the Mavs have a chance to finally break through in the West. And Kyrie will likely play a big part in that.