Future NBA Hall of Famer ‘Not’ Joining Mavericks This Summer: Report

LeBron James and Chris Paul

Getty LeBron James and Chris Paul

A 19-time All-Star and future Hall of Famer is “not” joining the Dallas Mavericks this summer.

According to Bill Reiter of CBS Sports, LeBron James will not leave the Los Angeles Lakers this offseason and join the Mavericks despite Kyrie Irving recruiting The King to Dallas.

“LeBron’s not going to Dallas,” one source told Reiter. “That doesn’t even make sense. This is about Kyrie telling (Lakers general manager) Rob (Pelinka) that he’s not taking a discount. And about LeBron trying to create some leverage.”

James signed a two-year extension with the Lakers last summer. The four-time MVP and four-time Finals MVP has a player option for the 2024-25 season.

The odds of James landing with the Mavericks are very low since he and Luka Doncic are already making max money and Irving is expected to sign a new max contract with Dallas this offseason in unrestricted free agency. The new CBA resembles a hard cap, making it almost impossible to have three max players on a roster.

The Mavericks Have Nothing to Offer the Lakers for LeBron James

According to Jovan Buha of The Athletic, the Lakers aren’t interested in what the Mavericks could offer them for James.

LeBron could ask for a buyout from Los Angeles and sign a cheap deal with Dallas. However, Buha — who covers the Lakers — doesn’t see that happening.

“The other avenue to get James to Dallas would be through a buyout, but multiple hurdles make that unrealistic as well,” Buha wrote. “James agreed to a two-year, $97.1 million extension with the Lakers in 2022 that will not kick in until this summer.

“Any player who is bought out could technically be picked up on waivers, but that team would have to be able to fit the player’s entire salary (in this case, James’ $46.9 million) on its cap sheet, not the amount he agrees to in a buyout. It would also require James to take a steep discount — the Lakers would have little to no incentive to have dead money on their cap sheet — and then sign in Dallas for far less than he would’ve been making.

“James has made nearly $400 million in basketball salary throughout his NBA career. He’s made hundreds of millions through endorsements, partnerships, his production company and various business endeavors. But asking him to give up tens of millions of dollars still seems impractical.”

If James doesn’t retire from the NBA this offseason, he will be back with the Lakers next season. His first son, Bronny, is playing college basketball at USC and his wife and two other kids adore living in Los Angeles, sources told Heavy Sports.

Kyrie Irving Is Expected to Re-Sign With the Mavericks

Irving is expected to re-sign with the Mavericks this summer, league sources told Heavy Sports. Both Doncic and Dallas head coach Jason Kidd have told the Duke product they want him back.

If the NBA operates with a $134 million salary cap, Irving would be eligible to re-sign with the Mavericks on a five-year, $272 million contract. The eight-time All-Star and NBA champion averaged 27.0 points, 5.0 rebounds and 6.0 assists in 20 games with Dallas this season.

“I hear he’s going back to Dallas on a 3+1 [a player option on the fourth year]. His contract will line up [identically] with Luka’s,” one player agent told Bleacher Report’s Eric Pincus.