Kyrie Irving Trade Causes Dallas Mavericks Odds To Shorten

Written By Mo Nuwwarah on February 6, 2023
Kyrie Irving trade

The Dallas Mavericks acquired Kyrie Irving in a blockbuster trade that shocked NBA fans and observers everywhere. The oft-controversial guard has impressed on the court this season, helping power the Nets to contender status when healthy. Now, he joins MVP candidate Luka Doncic in hopes a different offense-first superstar tandem can push to the NBA FInals.

Let’s take a look at how the betting market responded to the trade.

Mavericks Odds Shorten To After Kyrie Irving Trade

First, the trade parameters.

  • Mavericks get: Irving, Markieff Morris
  • Nets get: Spencer Dinwiddie, Dorian Finney-Smith, 2029 first-round pick, 2027 and 2029 second-round picks

Irving’s contract ends after this season, so he can become an unrestricted free agent. Now, the Mavericks could extend him, but if things go poorly in the coming months, that may not happen. While the wisdom of this trade from a long-term standpoint can be debated, the betting market showed clear optimism in the short term.

While the Mavericks remain well outside the top tier of contenders, their current price has shortened a fair amount. Bettors could find them around +3000 prior to the deal.

Now, that only represents a jump from around 3% title probability to around 6%.

New-Look Mavericks

The new-look Mavericks probably envision their starting lineup in an ideal world as:

  • Luka Doncic
  • Kyrie Irving
  • Reggie Bullock
  • Maxi Kleber
  • Christian Wood

The rub is three of those players are currently injured, including Doncic, who has missed some recent games with a foot injury. Wood is supposedly near a return (Editor’s note: he said he’ll play Monday). The team may opt to start Tim Hardaway Jr. over Bullock, but this lineup is already seriously lacking on the defensive end.

The good news is, Dallas had the seventh-best offense in the NBA (per Cleaning The Glass) and should challenge for No. 1 with the addition of Irving. How the ball-dominance of Doncic (second in the league in usage) pairs with that of Irving (18th) will be a problem for Jason Kidd to solve.

More good news: even with the injuries and the mediocre 28-26 record, the Mavericks remain in decent position in the West. While they are two games out of 12th, they’re also two out of third, and they have an 85th-percentile differential (+5 per 100 possessions) with Doncic, according to Cleaning The Glass.

In a wide open Western Conference, they still have a shot to make the NBA Finals. They need to piece together a semi-competent defense and hope Doncic and Irving have some synergy. Doncic already carried an inferior roster to the Western Conference Finals last year.

Doncic MVP Candidacy Likely Fading

Luka Doncic has entered at least the past two seasons as one of it not the favorite for MVP. Even as of January, NBA media pegged him as a co-favorite for MVP with two-time winner Nikola Jokic.

A lot has changed in just a few weeks. The Nuggets have distanced themselves for the No. 1 seed while Doncic has missed some games. He has slid down to .

His candidacy has likely taken a further hit now. Even if the Mavs climb up for a top-three seed, the narrative may now point to Irving as the reason why. Not only will Doncic’s stats potentially take a hit as his stratospheric usage should drop a bit, but he won’t get as much credit for carrying a weak roster on his back.

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Mo Nuwwarah

Mo Nuwwarah got his start in gambling early, making his first sports bet on his beloved Fab Five against the UNC Tar Heels in the 1993 NCAA tournament. He lost $5 to his dad and got back into sports betting years later during a 15-year run in the poker industry. A 2011 journalism graduate from Nebraska-Omaha, he combines those skills with his love of sports and statistics to help bettors make more informed decisions with a focus on pro football, baseball and basketball.

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