Even with his contract expiring this season, the Dallas Mavericks’ Kyrie Irving doesn’t want to be asked about his long-term plans.
“I would love to just have the respect of you guys and everybody the rest of the season of just continuously asking me that, because it just puts unwarranted distractions on us and our team,” he told reporters on February 13 before the Mavericks’ 124-121 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves. “I’ve dealt with it before and it’s very emotionally draining to ask questions like ‘What’s the long term? What’s the long term?'”
Irving, who is on his fourth team in 12 NBA seasons, has a history of being a flight risk. He requested a trade from the team that drafted him, the Cleveland Cavaliers, then he walked away from the Boston Celtics, and, most recently, he requested a trade from the Brooklyn Nets.
If he does have a long-term future with the Mavericks, he’s “eligible to sign a two-year, $83 million extension during the season or a four-year, $220.6 million deal in free agency. He could re-sign with Dallas for up to $272 million over five years, too,” according to Yahoo Sports.
Since being traded to the Mavericks on February 5, Irving, 30, has been the team’s scoring leader in each of its four games. Since then, the Mavericks have gone 2-2 — including 0-2 when Irving and Mavericks star Luka Dončić started together — and currently sit in sixth place in the Western Conference standings.
Mavericks Predicted to Trade for Third Star In Offseason
Should Irving ink a deal to remain in Dallas this summer, the Mavs could look to even further improve the team.
On February 14, Yahoo Sports’ Jake Fischer reported that the team could look to bring in a third star via trade.
“Using a 2029 unprotected first-round pick to land Irving will allow Dallas to move both their 2025 and 2027 first-round picks this summer, after the Mavericks’ 2023 selection finally conveys to New York as part of the 2019 Kristaps Porzingis deal,” Fischer wrote. “If Irving and Doncic manage to form the partnership Doncic and Porzingis never could fully cement, then perhaps the Mavericks will even take those picks and go shopping for an additional co-star for Doncic and Irving. Why stop at two alphas when you can chase a third? That has been the going order of operations for teams in the superstar-stacking business.”
Suns Wanted To Land Kyrie Irving Before Mavs Trade
The Mavs had some competition as they worked to trade for Irving, Fischer wrote.
According to his report, the Phoenix Suns, who later struck a deal to land Irving’s former teammate Kevin Durant, were also looking to trade for Uncle Drew.
“The Suns approached the Nets about trading for Kyrie Irving once the All-Star point guard asked out of Brooklyn, sources confirmed to Yahoo Sports,” Fischer wrote. “There were rumblings around the league that Phoenix was hoping to somehow land both Irving and Durant.”
He added that Phoenix’s pursuit of Irving likely won’t end there.
“That’s not just a window into another present reality,” he predicted. “A future reunification of Durant and Irving with the Suns will loom on the periphery of both Phoenix and Dallas’ stretch runs.”