NBA: Kyrie Irving can make Dallas Mavericks title contenders - Jason Kidd

Basketball Kyrie Irving joined the Brooklyn Nets from the Boston Celtics in 2019
FEB 7, 2023 LISTEN
Kyrie Irving joined the Brooklyn Nets from the Boston Celtics in 2019

Kyrie Irving's signing can make the Dallas Mavericks NBA Championship challengers, says coach Jason Kidd.

The 30-year-old point guard's move from the Brooklyn Nets was confirmed on Monday after he failed to agree a new contract.

Irving and Markieff Morris were traded for Spencer Dinwiddie and Dorian Finney-Smith.

"We feel that the talent and his abilities to make us better are something that we needed," said Kidd.

"Getting him is going to help put us in a position to win a championship.

"You look at his journey at other stops - he's won where he's gone."

Irving won the NBA title with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2016 and is an eight-time NBA All-Star, but he has endured off-court issues during three and a half years at the Nets.

His decision not to be vaccinated against Covid-19 meant he could not play any home games until March of the 2021-22 season because of New York's ban on unvaccinated people in indoor venues.

In November he was suspended for eight games and apologised after posting a social media link to a film with anti-Semitic material.

"It's easy to look at all the talk of the negative, but let's look at the positive of what he's done on and off the court. That's the way we're approaching it," said Kidd.

"He's all about basketball. He wants to win and he wants to be coached, and this is a great opportunity for me to have someone like this to help."

Kidd said the pairing of Irving with fellow All-Star Luka Doncic, who is currently sidelined with a heel injury, can make a difference to a side who are fifth in the Western Conference with a 29-26 record.

The Mavericks beat the Utah Jazz 124-111 hours after the trade, for which the Nets will reportedly receive a future first-round Draft pick and two second-round selections.

Irving, who was linked with the LA Clippers, LA Lakers and Phoenix Suns, is expected to join his Mavericks team-mates for practice on Tuesday in Los Angeles and make his debut against the Clippers on Wednesday.