It’s been a rather up-and-down season for the Dallas Mavericks thus far. Luka Doncic has played spectacularly well, and the team’s addition of Kyrie Irving at the trade deadline should improve their ceiling to the point where they have a chance to win a title.
However, nothing is certain in the NBA. The Western Conference as a whole improved a ton at the deadline, and the Mavericks are in the mix of teams fighting for a playoff spot. Greg Swartz of Bleacher Report made the bold prediction that the Mavericks will miss the playoffs this year.
“Teams like the [New Orleans] Pelicans (Zion Williamson), Minnesota Timberwolves (Karl-Anthony Towns) and Golden State Warriors (Stephen Curry) should have reinforcements coming before the playoffs begin as well.
“This doesn’t bode well for Dallas, a team with real defensive issues and a center rotation that is among the worst in the league.
“There’s also the overwhelming fear now of losing Irving in free agency this summer, in what would be a devastating blow after Jalen Brunson walked the year before.
“The Mavericks will ultimately fall back into the play-in tournament, where they may need to get by fully healthy Warriors or [Los Angeles] Lakers teams in one-game series.
“No one can fault the Mavs for gambling on a talent like Irving, but their lack of moves to put the right pieces around him and Dončić will ultimately be the team’s downfall,” Swartz wrote.
Adding Irving at the deadline wasn’t exactly a universally loved move. A lot of people believe the trade will backfire in Dallas’ face, and Swartz’s prediction is a direct reaction to that. If everything goes poorly, and the Mavericks do end up missing the postseason, the trade for Irving could go down as one of the most disastrous in recent memory.
Kyrie Irving Sounds Off on Trade Requests
Trade requests have become a staple in the NBA. Star players often have the freedom to request a trade away from their team because the organization has a feat of losing them for nothing. These types of requests have been heavily criticized, but Irving believes that players should have the power to constantly dictate their own future.
“It’s a bad situation,” Irving said via the Mavs Fans For Life YouTube channel. “Why doesn’t anyone have the ability to ask for trades? That’s my question. When did it become terrible to make great business decisions for yourself and your happiness and peace of mind? Not every employer you’re going to get along with, so if you have the chance to go somewhere else and you’re doing it legally, I don’t think there’s a problem with it.”
Kyrie Irving Praises Luka Doncic
And despite the concerns about trade requests and Irving’s future with the Mavericks, he’s very fond of Doncic. He recently told the Mavs Fans For Life YouTube channel that their dialogue has been amazing.
“I’ve only been around him for two weeks. But we’ve had incredible dialogue being at the arena and also being at the practice facility for a little bit, we get to know each other a little bit,” Irving said. “I’m looking forward to the time that we have after this All-Star Break where we have some home games, we can break some bread with our families, and just really include everybody that’s gonna be on this journey with us.”