How does Kyrie Irving fit on the Dallas Mavericks and what could be next?

Dallas Mavericks, Kyrie Irving
Dallas Mavericks, Kyrie Irving / Jim McIsaac/GettyImages
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Dallas Mavericks defense will be a problem after Kyrie Irving deal unless they trade for more help

The Mavs gave up their best perimeter defender in Dorian Finney-Smith and a 6’5 guard in Spencer Dinwiddie for the 6’2 Irving, whose effort and intensity on the defensive end wavers. Irving did nothing to improve the Mavericks' defense, and the losses of Doe-Doe and Dinwiddie hurt it.

Dallas still has Reggie Bullock, Josh Green, and Maxi Kleber as key defenders, but their defense has struggled all season. They made the push to seventh in defensive rating in year one under Jason Kidd and their defense propelled them to the conference finals, but Dallas currently sits 24th allowing 114.9 points per 100 possessions this season.

Who guards Jamal Murray, Ja Morant, Kawhi Leonard, Devin Booker, and Stephen Curry in the playoffs? If that task falls to Bullock and Green, then who matches up against second stars like Desmond Bane, Paul George, Chris Paul, and Klay Thompson? Bullock and Finney-Smith rarely came off the floor last year because Dallas needed both defending at a high level to get stops in the postseason. Now, Doe-Doe is in Brooklyn, and the inexperienced Green will struggle to keep his fouls down in a larger role.

The Dallas Mavericks are rumored to be searching for additional moves, and they must improve their perimeter defense before Thursday’s deadline or the trade for Kyrie Irving could quickly turn into a disaster as Dallas makes a quick exit from the postseason. Defense is far from the only concern after the Mavs' massive gamble on the eight-time All-Star guard.