The Dallas Mavericks have steadily tried to build a title contender around their superstar, Luka Doncic, and in 2023, they finally made some real headway. Although they disappointingly missed the playoffs last season, they did ink All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving to a long-term deal and addressed their defensive woes after acquiring Grant Williams from the Boston Celtics.
The Mavericks have added real star power, which means Dallas could soon become a hot destination for other star free agents. Now that he is locked in for the future, Irving says the Mavericks have started to include him in that process.
“They asked me what I thought throughout the summertime. Even in our closing meetings, they just asked me questions, trying to gauge who I wanted to play with, who I saw in the market, and who in these next couple of free agency classes will be available. That’s pretty interesting,” Irving told reporters on media day.
But as far as the moves the Mavericks did make this summer, Irving says that he has no complaints.
“I’m happy about the moves, no harsh criticism from me,” he added.
Kyrie Irving Sounds off on Mavericks’ Future
Irving has been a part of super teams before and has seen the best of times and worst of times. In 2016 he, LeBron James, and Kevin Love defeated the Golden State Warriors to become the first team to overcome a 3-1 deficit in the NBA Finals.
But in Brooklyn, on the Nets with James Harden and Kevin Durant, things quickly unraveled, and in three seasons, the Nets won just one playoff series.
Irving is in a position to be a part of another juggernaut in Dallas, but he has a better understanding of things. And he knows that no matter how much talent a team has, great things take time.
“I was looking towards the future, while also being aware that it takes time to build a great team. It takes time to build chemistry. And with me and Luka, we’re so skilled. He makes the game so easy for everyone around him,” Irving added.
“We have the pieces out there. We have some young guys that are incredibly active. We drafted well. And just to be included in that process felt good, being asked questions on what I thought and how our pieces would fit around. But also, I’m not the centralized focus.”
Mark Cuban Slams NBA Over Load Management
The rise of sports betting continues to gain popularity. Even for people not particularly fond of sports betting, many online sportsbooks offer free betting picks to novices with the hopes that it will eventually become a regular hobby. But Mavericks owner Mark Cuban believes that sports gambling has become so prevalent that it is impacting on-court decisions.
In September, the NBA announced a new rule that prevents teams from sitting more than one All-Star in the same game for load management, which the Mavericks’ owner believes is a direct result of sports gambling.
“On social media, half the talk, if not more, is ‘well, I’ve got this bet in this game, or what are the odds going to be? What’s the line going to be?’ And that influences a lot of the perspective of load management, because who am I going to bet on?” Cuban said during an appearance on “ESPN First Take” on September 28. “And that’s unfortunate, but that’s the reality of the world we live in.”