The Dallas Mavericks may still be a playoff team in the Western Conference but, clearly, things could be better in the Big D. Despite being in the middle of the pack in terms of strength of schedule, the club has stumbled and bumbled its way to a 14-14 record.
Along the way, the Mavericks have fielded the NBA‘s 20th-ranked offense, with an O-rating of just 107.9. For a team that has both Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis on its roster — and one that boasted the league’s No. 1 offense in 2019-20 — that’s quite the achievement.
As such, it’s probably safe to say that the Mavs’ mix is a little bit off at this point. And it would seem that Dallas’ decision-makers are already exploring ways to rectify the problem.
According to one league insider, the Mavs are among the teams that have called the Brooklyn Nets about a certain seven-time All-Star.
Begley: Mavs Inquired About Kyrie Irving Trade
On Tuesday, SportsNet New York’s Ian Begley reported that the Mavs had reached out to the Nets to discuss a deal for point guard Kyrie Irving. The 29-year-old, who won a championship with LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2016, has yet to play this season due to his strong stance against New York City’s vaccine mandate.
However, there has been renewed optimism recently that he could return to the court this season.
Over a decade in the Association, Irving has averaged 22.8 points, 5.7 assists and 3.8 rebounds per contest while posting an effective field goal percentage of 53.1.
As noted by Begley, there’s no telling whether talks between Dallas and Brooklyn ever advanced beyond the preliminary stage. However, he did report that Porzingis’ name came up as part of those discussions.
From a financial standpoint, a straight-up Kyrie-Porzingis deal works under the CBA. On the court, though, Irving may be a questionable fit next to Doncic. Both players work best when they have the ball in their hands and, last time we checked, there’s only one ball to go around.
On the other hand, Irving has found a way to coexist with Kevin Durant and James Harden in Brooklyn; at least during those rare occasions when the trio has actually shared the court.
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Dealing Porzingis Could Backfire
If the Nets are actually interested in Porzingis and there’s a deal to be made here, the Mavs would be taking a risk in pulling the trigger.
As it stands, Irving can opt out of the final year of his contract after the season. And while it’s difficult to envision him walking away from an additional $36 million, other players have made similar exits only to ink massive, long-term deals shortly thereafter. Think Chris Paul and Gordon Hayward.
Moreover, the Mavs are already somewhat lacking in the frontcourt with Porzingis in the fold. Trading him away would make the situation worse and getting Kyrie — even if he’s the best version of himself in Dallas — probably isn’t quite enough to bring the Mavs up to the level of the Golden State Warriors, Phoenix Suns and Utah Jazz anyway.
In other words, if getting Kyrie is the Mavs’ big move, it’s one that would require additional tinkering to really pay off.