Kyrie Irving #11 of the Brooklyn Nets is announced before...

Kyrie Irving #11 of the Brooklyn Nets is announced before the game against the Boston Celtics at TD Garden on February 01, 2023 in Boston, Massachusetts.  Credit: Getty Images/Maddie Meyer

The divorce has been finalized.

Kyrie Irving is no longer a Net.

The Nets traded the disgruntled guard and Markieff Morris to the Dallas Mavericks for Spencer Dinwiddie, Dorian Finney-Smith, a first-round pick in 2029 and second-round picks in 2027 and 2029 on Sunday.

The trade initially was reported by ESPN and The Athletic, and a source subsequently confirmed to Newsday that it had been finalized.

The trade is the culmination of a bizarre two days, even by the Nets’ standards.

Irving demanded to be traded Friday, reportedly upset with the terms of the Nets’ long-term contract proposals. It is unknown if he presented Nets management a list of preferred destinations, but Dallas had been linked to the guard since his demand became public.

Before Saturday’s 125-123 win over Washington, an ESPN report said Irving was willing to sit out the remainder of the season if he was not traded. Irving did not play Saturday night because of what the team termed “right calf soreness.” After the game, coach Jacques Vaughn said both the team and Irving determined the best course of action for both sides would be for the eight-time All-Star to not be in attendance.

TNT NBA reporter Chris Haynes tweeted Sunday morning that the Nets planned to sideline the pending free agent through Thursday’s NBA trade deadline.

From a purely basketball standpoint, Dallas got the better of the deal. Irving is averaging 27.1 points and shooting 48.6% in 40 games this season and is one of the most skilled players in the league.

However, Irving’s relationship with the organization had been unsettled for more than a year. His refusal to get vaccinated for COVID-19 during the 2021-22 season initially forced the Nets not to play him either at home or on the road. By December, the team relented and played him in road games. And after New York City relaxed its vaccination mandates for athletes and entertainers, he was able to play home games.

After the first-round series sweep by Boston, the Nets spent part of the offseason trying to trade Irving but found a depressed market. Before the start of training camp, he made news by posting an old video of conspiracy theorist Alex Jones railing against the “new world order” on his Instagram feed.

Early this season, he shared a link to an antisemitic movie on his Instagram and Twitter feeds, which prompted the team to suspend him for eight games.

After the win over Washington — the Nets came back from a 23-point deficit despite not having Irving, Kevin Durant (sprained right MCL), Ben Simmons (left knee soreness), and T.J. Warren (left shin contusion) — Cam Thomas stressed that the team is composed of more than its stars.

“I always [have] hope no matter who’s out there because we’re all pros at the end of the day,” said Thomas, who scored a career-high 44 points off the bench. “It’s not like only two people can play. A lot of guys contribute and play and help at any time.”

Thomas, who is close to Irving, said he learned about the trade request “on the internet.” And he made clear he had not spoken to the man he repeatedly referred to as a “brother” about the request.

“That’s his business,” Thomas said. “I’m trying to get ready for a game. At the end of the day, he’s made the best decision for himself. And like I said, [he’s] still my brother.”

The question now is how the trade will affect the franchise going forward — specifically Durant, who asked for a trade last summer. Is he willing to play without the guard who convinced him to sign with the Nets? Will the Nets hold on to the players and draft picks acquired in the deal or will they be packaged in order to land a star to play alongside Durant?

The answers to those questions are to be determined.

WHAT’S

THE DEAL

Nets get:

n Spencer Dinwiddie

n Dorian Finney-Smith

n  2029 first-round pick

n  2027 and 2029 second-round picks

 

Mavericks get:

n  Kyrie Irving

n Markieff Morris

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