Mavericks Pushed to Re-Sign Kyrie Irving to Major Payday

The Mavericks may have to give Kyrie Irving the max "or come close" in order to re-sign the 8-time All-Star point guard

Getty The Mavericks may have to give Kyrie Irving the max "or come close" in order to re-sign the 8-time All-Star point guard

It may take a max contract or something close to it for the Dallas Mavericks to get Kyrie Irving to sign on the dotted line to return to the DFW this offseason — this, at least, according to CBS Sports’ Sam Quinn, who believes that if the mercurial point guard wanted to take a pay cut, he’d be better off doing so with a Los Angeles Lakers franchise that’s closer to a contender for an NBA Championship.

“So once we’ve opened the door for an Irving pay cut, we have to acknowledge that the Lakers make more sense for this partnership than the Mavericks,” Quinn prefaced before saying, “Therefore, Dallas probably has to max Irving or come close just to make this alliance possible.”

Quinn broke down reasons he feels Los Angeles is a preferable place to be relative to Dallas, citing a more competitive Lakers roster, the potential marketability of playing in the second most populated U.S. market, and the sentimental value of Irving playing for the team his mentor Kobe Bryant did.

“James is already in place, and Anthony Davis provides sorely needed defense that Doncic does not,’ Quinn wrote. “Los Angeles is a far more desirable market than Dallas. Irving was close to Kobe Bryant and some have speculated that wearing his mentor’s uniform would matter to the star point guard.”

LeBron James Unlikely to Be Plotting Mavericks Jump, Lakers Exit

Irving has long been linked to LeBron James this offseason, but the narrative shifted on June 5 to “The King” making his way to the Mavericks instead of trying to pry the 8-time All-Star out of Dallas.

Quinn doesn’t see James as someone who’s been secretly plotting his exit from Los Angeles, however.

“If James was planning a Los Angeles exit, he probably wouldn’t have signed an extension last offseason,” Quinn prefaced before saying, “Even if things have changed over the past year, which seems unlikely with his son Bronny set to play for USC, there just isn’t much reason to believe that James would force his way to Dallas, specifically.”

Dallas has few assets to offer in a trade for James other than the No. 10 pick in the 2023 NBA draft, Josh Green, and Jaden Hardy. As Quinn notes, that hardly makes for an appealing package for the league’s all-time leading scorer.

Mavericks Analyst: LeBron James Rumors Are Kyrie Irving Leverage

Dallas Basketball’s Richie Whitt believes the James-Mavericks rumors have no legs and insinuated that the leak of Irving reaching out to his former championship co-star with the Cleveland Cavaliers was purely leverage — done to give Irving an out to ditch Dallas and sign with the Lakers in free agency.

“It’s the sexiest of headlines but, sorry, LeBron James ain’t coming to the Dallas Mavericks,” Whitt prefaced before saying, “(There’s) Multiple reasons: 1. His Lakers just made the Western Conference Finals and crafted trade-deadline deals to customize the talent around him. Why would he come here?; 2. Besides Luka Doncic (who’s going nowhere) what value can the Mavs offer in trade?! (I know NBA superstars get what they want, but the cupboard here is rather bare); 3. This is Kyrie’s passive-aggressive ticket out of town. His supposed ‘recruiting’ of LeBron reeks of ‘Well, if I can’t play with LeBron in Dallas … I’ll guess we’ll have to make it work in L.A.'”

Irving leaving in free agency wouldn’t open up significant cap space for the Mavericks. His departure would essentially render his trade deadline pointless considering the team’s lack of a postseason appearance, the first since Doncic’s rookie season.

It’ll be on Dallas’ front office to entice Irving to stick around. Offering more than any other team could may be their only play.

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