NBA

Nets coach Vaughn wishes best for Kyrie after guard makes Mavericks trade

By Sports Desk February 07, 2023

Brooklyn Nets head coach Jacque Vaughn wants Kyrie Irving to succeed despite his departure from the team, after he was traded to the Dallas Mavericks.

The guard made the move from New York to Texas ahead of Thursday's deadline after threatening to leave as a free agent at the end of the season.

It has been an unsettled campaign for Irving with the Nets, having been suspended for eight games after posting a link on social media to an antisemitic film.

But Vaughn, who has picked up Mavericks pair Spencer Dinwiddie and Dorian Finney-Smith in return, had nothing but kind words to say after his exit.

"My interactions with Kai have always been positive," he said after the Nets slipped to a 124-116 loss against the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday.

"I enjoyed coaching him. I want him to succeed. I'll keep it that simple. We've had some ups and downs along the way. I've also seen the young man score 60 points.

"I've also seen him bring his kids into the locker room. I've also seen him grow as an individual and be a better teammate than when I first met him.

"For me, I'm going to always look at the good in people and want the good in people. I want him to succeed. He's no longer with us, but I appreciate his time."

Irving, who will link up with three-time All-NBA Team guard Luka Doncic in Dallas, will be out to help push the Mavericks into the championship race.

The team sit fifth in the Western Conference with a 29-26 record after a 124-111 win over the Utah Jazz and face the Clippers next on Wednesday.

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    Butler will be sidelined for several weeks due to a right MCL injury sustained in Wednesday’s 105-104 road loss to the Philadelphia 76ers, who clinched the No. 7 seed in the East.

    Butler was hurt late in the first quarter when he tried to fake out Philadelphia’s Kelly Oubre Jr. and his knee buckled, causing the six-time All-Star to fall to the court.

    A hobbled Butler remained in the game and wound up playing 40 minutes. He scored 19 points but shot 5 of 18 from the field.

    Butler led Miami in the regular season with 20.8 points, 5.0 assists and 1.32 steals per game while also averaging 5.3 rebounds.

    Last season, Butler won the Larry Bird Trophy as the MVP of the Eastern Conference Finals as No. 8 seed Miami advanced to the NBA Finals before losing in five games to the Denver Nuggets.

    The winner of Friday’s matchup between Miami and Chicago will capture the No. 8 seed in the East and move on to play the top-seeded Boston Celtics in the first round of the playoffs.

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    Embiid’s availability against Miami was uncertain after the reigning league MVP tweaked his surgically repaired left knee Friday and sat out the regular-season finale two days later.

    He played 38 minutes and stepped up down the stretch with eight points in the final three minutes and dished out a clutch assist.

    With the game tied at 96, Embiid found Kelly Oubre Jr. under the basket with 36 seconds to play, and he was fouled while making a layup for a three-point play to put Philadelphia ahead for good.

    On Miami’s next possession, Nicolas Batum blocked Tyler Herro’s potential game-tying 3-point attempt.

    Batum provided a spark off the bench with 20 points and hit five of his six 3-pointers after halftime to help Philadelphia battle back from a 12-point deficit at the break.

    Tyrese Maxey added 19 points for a 76ers team that made 21 of 23 free throws.

    Both Herro and Jimmy Butler struggled with their shots for the Heat, who led by as much as 14 late in the second quarter.

    Butler injured his right knee in the first quarter and said after the game that he would need an MRI, putting his availability for Friday in question.

    Herro finished with a game-high 25 points but was just 4 of 14 from 3-point range, while Butler had 19 points on 5-of-18 shooting.

     

     

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    Butler sustained the injury in the first quarter when he tried to fake out Kelly Oubre Jr. on a basket, only to have his knee buckle. He fell to the floor and Oubre appeared to land on top of him.

    “I fell, he landed, and my knee just didn’t do well, I guess,” Butler said. “I don’t know. It’s not a good feeling, I can tell you that.”

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    Butler averaged 20.8 points in 60 games this season for the Heat, tied with Tyler Herro for the team lead.

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