Former Nets Big Man Looking to Join Kyrie Irving in Dallas: Report

Brooklyn Nets

Getty Kyrie Irving #2 of the Dallas Mavericks.

It appears that at least one former Brooklyn Nets player is looking to get the band back together.

“Free agent F/C LaMarcus Aldridge is working out for the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday,” tweeted ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski ahead of the Nets’ 124-106 loss to the New York Knicks on February 13 noting in a subsequent tweet, “Aldridge, 37, has been preparing to play in his 17th NBA season.”

Aldridge is a seven-time All-Star and five-time All-NBA selection. He spent the 2022 season with Brooklyn appearing in 47 games with 12 starts after making a triumphant return from a heart condition that interrupted his career.

He had made just five appearances the season prior after signing with Brooklyn following a buyout from the San Antonio Spurs before his condition flared up.

“I found out about it in 2006, my first year, so I’ve had some reoccurrences over the years and we’ve done studies,” Aldridge said of his Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome which can cause an irregular heartbeat in an interview with Shams Charania of The Athletic. “I had a weird game against the Lakers [in April of 2021], my heart was just beating weird and out of rhythm. I had irregular rhythm the whole game, and I hadn’t experienced that before….And later that night, I honestly had a scary night. My heart was beating different or as weird as it has ever been before.”

The 6-foot-11 big man played over 22 minutes that night finishing with 12 points, three blocks, three rebounds, and two assists.

When he returned the following season, he surpassed a pretty impressive career milestone.

Aldridge averaged 12.9 points, 5.5 boards, 1.1 assists, and 1.1 blocks in his brief Nets tenure. Now, he is looking to take his talents to his hometown team which just picked up arguably the most divisive figure in recent Nets history.

Kyrie Irving was High on LaMarcus Aldridge in Brooklyn

“Not only his IQ and his experience, which speaks for itself,” Irving said of what Aldridge brought when he signed with the Nets in 2021 via the Fanatics View Hoops YouTube channel. “I think just the maturity of having a versatile piece like that, being able to post up, slow the game down. Being able to throw it in to him [in the post] and just let him work.”

Dallas is certainly in need of a post presence beyond Luka Doncic even if Aldridge is only capable of spot minutes at this point.

They rank 30th in paint points this season despite trading for former Hoston Rockets big man Christian Wood – who is more of a stretch option than a post player – and signing veteran JaVale McGee to a three-year, $17.2 million contract this past offseason.

Deserting Dallas

Any potential reunion between Aldridge and Irving could be short-lived. The mercurial guard is in the final year of his contract and is almost certain to hit free agency next summer.

He is not completely off the table for the Phoenix Suns with Kevin Durant.

“I’d like to just point out that Kyrie and James Harden are free agents this summer,” noted ESPN’s Brian Windhorst during an appearance on ‘Get Up’ on February 9. “So if you think this is over, it ain’t over. And Kyrie was really interested in being in Phoenix. So just start thinking about that.”

Harden seemed to point the finger at Irving for the Nets’ failure to meet expectations but he did note there was a “what if?” element to the entire short-lived experiment.

Irving noted that he has never felt Durant was angry with him.

While there could be a reunion of sorts in the desert for the remainder of this season, the big get-together could still happen in Phoenix this summer which could serve as a final shot to the “what if?” element Harden alluded to for Nets fans.