3 Ripple effects of blockbuster Kyrie Irving trade on the Spurs
Following a report that the San Antonio Spurs could play a significant role in a Kyrie Irving trade, Brooklyn unexpectedly shut them out of the deal by pivoting in a different direction. Worse yet, Irving is joining the Spurs' interstate rival, the Dallas Mavericks. While there hasn't been much competition between the two in recent seasons, the gulf between them might only grow larger.
After all, despite his baggage, Irving is one of the most gifted offensive players in the NBA. Yet he will somehow only be the second-best player on his team. Aside from the two remaining regular-season games the Spurs play against them, they won't have to deal with the new-look Mavericks any time soon. However, here are three ripple effects the blockbuster Irving trade has on the Spurs.
1. The trade reinforces the reality of a long Spurs rebuild.
In years past, Spurs fans tended to view these big trades in the context of how they would affect the team's chances in the playoffs. I'm guessing that thought didn't cross any Spurs fans' minds when the trade was announced. With the team in the middle of a rebuild, wins and losses only matter in the context of draft lottery positioning. Still, after making the playoffs all but once in the 30 seasons between 1989 abd 2019, it's been a hard adjustment.
This is especially true since this will be the team's fourth straight season without a postseason appearance, and there doesn't appear to be an end in sight. Even if the Spurs were to select Victor Wembanyama first overall in this year's draft, an ultracompetitive Western Conference might mean it could be a while before the Spurs and Mavericks face off in the playoffs again.