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Exclusive: Mavs owner Mark Cuban makes first comments on trade for Kyrie Irving

Cuban spoke with WFAA about what Irving brings to the team, and which Dallas player (besides Luka Doncic) will benefit most from the trade.

DALLAS — Kyrie Irving is officially a Dallas Maverick -- and the star guard arrived in Dallas on Monday right as the Mavs' trade with the Brooklyn Nets became official with the NBA. 

Forward Markieff Morris also joined Irving in Dallas.

The gain isn't without its losses. The Mavs had to trade away fan favorites Dorian Finney-Smith and Spencer Dinwiddie, along with a 2029 first-round pick and two future second-round picks, in order to get the deal done.

And then there are the many off-court controversies surrounding Irving.

Still, the deal is done. And, in exclusive video captured by WFAA, Irving could be seen arriving at the Mavs' practice facility on Monday afternoon alongside the team's general manager Nico Harrison and its vice president of basketball operations Michael Finley.

Irving was later seen leaving the facility with owner Mark Cuban following behind.

After that interaction with Irving at the team facility, Cuban spoke exclusively with WFAA about the trade and what Irving brings to a team that many fans felt needed a second star beside Luka Doncic.

Cuban did not want to answer questions regarding Irving's off-the-court past.

Instead, he addressed why the trade was made.

"The opportunity to get another player like Kyrie that’s transcendental... this would give us the best backcourt in the NBA," Cuban said. "We have probably the best ball-handler in Luka, and now we feel like we have the second-best, as well." 

Added Cuban: "That [addition] creates unique opportunities, puts a lot of pressure on the defense, allows us to rest Luka more when Kyrie’s on the court. We really think it’s gonna be good for us."

And how does the Mavs owner think Irving and Doncic will get along together?

"Both of them just like to win," Cuban said. "They’ll hit the hot man. They’ll move the ball. I don’t think either one feels like 'OK, I have to score all the time.' I know, with Luka, it’s always been go with the hot hand and let’s just win. Kyrie’s the same way."

He continued: "If we need to get a bucket, if it’s not Luka, it’ll be Kyrie. And if it’s not Kyrie, it’ll be Luka. Pick your poison."

Cuban also said the Mavs front office spoke with Doncic about the trade, and that superstar player is excited about the move.

"Luka's words were, 'He's really good!'" Cuban said with a laugh.

The owner made sure, too, to thank outgoing Mavs players Dinwiddie and Finney-Smith for their contributions to the team. Finney-Smith in particular spent six-and-a-half seasons with Dallas after joining the franchise as an undrafted rookie.

"Big thanks to Spence and all the work he’s put in; he’s just a good human that really brought it every game," Cuban said. "And, obviously, Doe-Doe’s been here since he started as an undrafted rookie. We’re really gonna miss him. The way he’s developed, the way he’s worked, always guarding the best player. He’s always took the challenge. He was obviously key in getting us to the Western Conference finals last year."

But, Cuban noted, those players' departures could open up opportunities for another promising young Mavericks player.

"As unfortunate as it is for Dorian to leave, [the trade's] really gonna open up a lot of minutes for Josh Green," Cuban said. "We’ll have the opportunity to put the ball in his hands more cause he’s been really good at creating off the dribble, shooting the three. Defensively, [Green] has been our best on-ball defender. I think part of the value in this is freeing up minutes for Josh."

As for Irving? Cuban said he expressed excitement at the chance to play with the Mavs. The owner joked, too, that Irving was already asking for business advice from him.

But, while Irving is set to wear No. 2 for the Mavs, one question still remains: Will the star guard be in Dallas beyond this season?

As it stand, Irving's contract ends after this season. But he is eligible for an extension. 

Reportedly, the Mavs will hold off on contract talks until after the season is over.

Asked if he hopes Irving will be on the team for the long-term, Cuban offered the following: "I hope so. That’s the whole idea, right? The longer you can keep a great team together, the better it is."

Irving is expected to make his Mavs debut on Wednesday in a game against the Clippers in Los Angeles. 

Dallas' next home game is on Monday, Feb. 13, against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

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