As the Dallas Mavericks watch the first round of the NBA Playoffs from the couch, they’re undoubtedly formulating a plan to retain star guard Kyrie Irving. Dallas acquired Irving ahead of this season’s trade deadline, but weren’t able to string together any success once the 31-year-old got to town, missing the postseason altogether.
Now with Irving’s contract set to expire in the summer, the question still looms, “Will Kyrie stay with the Mavericks?”
If you ask “Bleacher Report’s” Greg Swartz, the former No. 1 overall pick and the Mavs are “destined” for at least one more season together.
In an article published on April 17, Swartz explained that he’s buying into the idea of Irving re-signing with Dallas this offseason.
“Dallas has no choice but to re-sign Irving after what they had to give up to acquire him,” he wrote. “However, there should obviously be hesitation about the number of years and final dollar amount, given the way his last few seasons have played out. According to ProFitX.com, Irving’s real-time contract this season was valued at $38.2 million, up from his actual $36.6 million number. If Irving wants to play on a max or near-max deal, the Mavs look like his best option as well. The teams with the most projected cap space (Houston Rockets, Orlando Magic, San Antonio Spurs) are all years away from being title or even playoff contenders. Irving and the Mavericks appear destined to run it back, at least for next year.”
Swartz concluded by saying that there is no situation besides Dallas for Irving, if he wants to get paid and compete for a title.
Nico Harrison is ‘Optimistic’ That Kyrie Irving will Remain with Mavs
Swartz’s feelings on the situation are very similar to those of Mavericks general manager Nico Harrison. Last week, Harrison told reporters that he feels “optimistic” that Irving wants to be in Dallas.
“I think the things he said along the way about how he feels here, how he feels appreciated, how he feels accepted, and allowed to be himself. I think those are the things he’s said kind of consistently, and that gives me the optimism that he wants to be here,” Harrison said via the Dallas Mavericks official YouTube channel.
Kyrie Irving & Luka Doncic Were ‘Agitated’ By Mavs’ Decision to Tank
The Mavericks rested Irving for what could be his final two games under contract with the organization. He watched from the sidelines as Dallas lost to the Chicago Bulls and then to the San Antonio Spurs, to seal their fate in the lottery.
According to “The Ringer’s” Kevin O’Connor, the team wanted to shut down key players much sooner, but Irving and Luka Doncic were “agitated” by that strategy and refused to go along with it.
“The tanking was actually supposed to begin sooner,” O’Connor said via FanDuel TV. “My sources say that in late March, Dallas coaches met with players to discuss a plan for Markieff Morris and JaVale McGee to play heavier minutes. That is when the tanking was supposed to begin but Luka and especially Kyrie were agitated that the team was waving the white flag and both refused to sit.”