It’s been a big week for Dallas Mavericks fans as they await Kyrie Irving‘s free agent decision later this summer. News broke on Monday that the star guard had urged the Mavs to make a deal to land LeBron James from the Los Angeles Lakers.
Later in the day, NBA Insider Marc Stein reported that Irving is interested in signing a new deal with Dallas, regardless if they trade for James or not. He shared intel he’d heard from multiple league sources.
“Yet two sources close to the process insisted Monday that Irving has consistently expressed a desire to remain a Maverick and actually wants to shut down the notion that he’s angling to get to L.A.,” Stein wrote on June 5. “‘He wants to stay,’ said one source. The clear signals Monday out of Dallas suggest that the Mavericks believe that. With or without a LeBron reunion.”
Dallas traded for Irving ahead of this season’s deadline, hoping that he’d help the team get over the hump and put together a strong playoff run. Instead, the roster felt extremely top heavy, and the Mavs saw themselves slip from the fourth seed, all the way to missing the postseason as a whole.
Kyrie Irving Urged Mavericks to Trade for LeBron James
The news of Irving wanting the front office to explore trades for James caught the attention of the internet on Monday.
Bleacher Report’s Chris Haynes shared insight about the story, publishing a piece shortly after the news broke.
“A new twist has emerged in the LeBron James-Kyrie Irving reunion plot, as league sources have told Bleacher Report Irving wants the Dallas Mavericks to explore trading for LeBron James this offseason to create a Big 3 alongside himself and Luka Doncic,” Haynes wrote.
The consensus from NBA fans across Twitter was that there’s no way that a trade like this would be able to happen. Haynes made the same point in his article, explaining that the easiest way for the move to be made would be via James being bought out of his contract with L.A., which isn’t likely.
“Any chance of forming a James-Irving-Doncic Big 3 under the NBA’s strict new Collective Bargaining Agreement will be difficult,” Haynes explained. “The new CBA resembles a hard cap, making it very difficult to have three max players on a roster. In order for Irving and James to partner with Doncic, the two would have to take a sizable pay cut. The easiest—and unlikeliest—path to adding James this offseason would be for him to orchestrate a buyout.”
What to Make of Kyrie Irving’s Future with Mavericks
The whole “will he, won’t he” saga of Irving’s impending decision about his future in Dallas has been a rollercoaster.
A few weeks back, Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report reported that Uncle Drew had already agreed to a “handshake agreement” to stay with the Mavs, prior to the trade.
Then, just days later, Irving took to Instagram Live to slam the speculation on his future with the team.
“I’m a free agent this summer, but I am in no rush to make a decision,” Irving said. “The speculation around my name from all these individuals that get on TV and have these personalities… When they speak on my name and they’re talking about potential teams that I’m going to, respectfully, I’m asking you to please stop paying attention to that. I am in no rush to make a decision.”
Finally, on June 1, HoopsHype’s Michael Scotto revealed that there’d been no truth to the reported agreement between Irving and the Mavericks.
“I’ve heard there’s no truth to any reports that Irving has a handshake deal with Dallas on a new max contract for four years with a player option at this time,” Scotto told The Athletic’s Jovan Buha on the June 1 episode of the “HoopsHype Podcast.” “Not to say he won’t be back in Dallas. They certainly have all the motivation to keep him after trading for him and the financial resources to make him the best offer possible, but nothing’s done as of yet.”
It’s unclear what Irving will do come free agency, but Stein’s latest report should ease the nerves of Dallas fans for now.