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#pounditFriday, April 19, 2024

Nets owner got last laugh with Kyrie Irving through petty move

Joe Tsai looking on

May 9, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; Taiwanese businessman Joe Tsai (left) looks on during the second half of the preseason WNBA game between the New York Liberty and the China National Team at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Kyrie Irving terrorized Joe Tsai’s Brooklyn Nets for nearly four seasons, and it sounds like the Nets owner got the last laugh with the problematic guard.

On Friday we learned that Irving wanted to be traded by the Nets ahead of Thursday’s deadline. Immediately, there was speculation that Irving would end up with the Los Angeles Lakers. But by Sunday, Irving had been traded to the Dallas Mavericks.

The Mavs sent Brooklyn Spencer Dinwiddie, Dorian Finney-Smith, a 2029 first-round pick and two second-round picks.

The Lakers offered the Nets Russell Westbrook (whose contract is expiring) plus their 2027 and 2029 first-round picks.

It’s quite possible that the Nets outright preferred Dallas’ trade package, which included two players who could help keep them competitive this season. But Marc Stein reported Sunday night that one other presumed goal of Tsai was to avoid sending Irving to the Lakers, which was the guard’s preferred destination.

After everything Irving put that franchise through — from disrupting chemistry to the anti-semitic matter this season to not playing half the time — it makes sense that Tsai wouldn’t want to reward Irving.

Trading Irving to Dallas yielded two benefits: a favorable trade package that helps the Nets stay competitive, and blocking Irving from joining the Lakers.

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