At 14-5 on the season, the Brooklyn Nets are separating themselves from the rest of the Eastern Conference. Thanks to the play of Kevin Durant and James Harden, the team is looking like an easy pick to make the NBA Finals.
Meanwhile, their third star Kyrie Irving continues to remain on the sidelines in wake of his decision to avoid the COVID-19 vaccine. And as good as they've played recently, the absence of Irving makes them especially vulnerable, especially against other top-tier contenders like the Warriors, Suns, and Bulls.
In a recent article, Greg Swartz of Bleacher Report laid out one way the Nets could solve that problem: by acquiring Mavericks big man, Kristaps Porzingis.
Brooklyn Nets Receive: PF Kristaps Porzingis, PG Jalen Brunson
Dallas Mavericks Receive: PG Kyrie Irving, PF Day'Ron Sharpe
If Irving agrees to it, a trade to Dallas (where there's no COVID-19 vaccine mandate) would create a devastating duo with Luka Doncic and give the Nets a new star point guard. Brunson (15.1 points, 4.4 rebounds, 5.3 assists, 49.3 percent shooting overall) has enjoyed a breakout season for Dallas and would slide in next to James Harden in Brooklyn's starting backcourt. This would allow Patty Mills to return to a sixth man role full-time, as expected when he signed with the Nets.
Porzingis isn't living up to expectations as a No. 2 in Dallas but could thrive as a floor-spacing No. 3 (or No. 4 on some nights) in Brooklyn, giving Kevin Durant and Harden their driving lanes.
Kristaps, 26, is in his third year in Dallas. As a sidekick of sorts to Luka Doncic, he's averaging 21.1 points, 8.2 rebounds, and 1.5 blocks per game on 46% shooting. With less pressure and more help in Brooklyn, he could be an ideal candidate to make up for what Kyrie has failed to provide for them this season.
For the Mavericks, an Irving/Doncic pairing is the stuff of dreams for Dallas fans.
Unfortunately, such a deal remains a long shot for the time being, especially as the Nets continue to build their chemistry.