Dallas Mavericks head coach Jason Kidd has commented on Kyrie Irving’s trade for the first time. The Hall of Famer defended the trade and brushed aside criticism of the newcomer.
“We think he has the talent and ability to make us better,” Kidd said ahead of the Utah Jazz game, which the Mavs won 124-111, even without Irving and Luka Doncic. Kidd sees the Mavs with Irving as a better team than last year when they reached the Conference Finals.
“He’s played with the best players in the world and he’s been successful at it. We don’t have to give Luka the ball all the time and let him make every play. It gives us the opportunity to do some things differently. ” Kidd pointed to Jalen Brunson and the impact the current Knick as a playmaker had on the Mavs, with Irving you could even go to another level.
“It’s not a dig at JB, but Kyrie is just on a different level. Someone will always be free, someone will always have an advantage,” Kidd exulted. The whirlwind off the field, on the other hand, doesn’t interest the coach: “It’s easy to just talk about the bad things, but let’s look at the positive things he has achieved on and off the field. That’s how we do it. “
Doncic in particular should be relieved and benefit from it late in games. “His usage will drop and that’s a good thing. He’ll be stronger in the fourth quarter and that’s better for the team too. (…) It will take some time before the rhythm and confidence are there.”
Dallas Mavericks want Josh Green to jump
Irving could make his debut for the Mavs as early as Thursday night when Dallas visits the LA Clippers. The guard will wear his old number 2 in Dallas, which Kidd wore with the Mavs between 2008 and 2012.
Owner Mark Cuban also spoke to Callie Caplan (Dallas Morning News) on the trade: “It makes us extremely dangerous offensively,” said Cuban, who also believes that the departure of defensive specialist Dorian Finney-Smith can be compensated. “We think Josh Green will take a step forward and benefit from more minutes.”
In Salt Lake City, the Australian at least hinted at his great potential. In almost 38 minutes, Green set a new career high of 29 points and posted by far the best plus-minus of any player on the field at +39.