Insider Hints at Kyrie Irving Free Agency Reunion With Kevin Durant, Suns

Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving

Getty Nets stars Kyrie Irving (left) and Kevin Durant.

As the opening of the NBA free agency period approaches, the Phoenix Suns appear ready to acquire even more talent to their star-studded roster. Per Chris B. Haynes of Bleacher Report, Dallas Mavericks star Kyrie Irving plans to meet with the franchise at the start of the free agency period on June 30.

“Star point guard Kyrie Irving is expected to meet with the Phoenix Suns along with the Dallas Mavericks and possibly other teams when NBA free agency begins on June 30, league sources tell TNT/Bleacher Report,” Haynes said on June 29.

“The Houston Rockets could seek a meeting as well, according to sources. Meetings are expected to take place in Los Angeles, sources say.”

Irving was Kevin Durant’s co-star on the Brooklyn Nets for three and a half seasons. The star was traded to the Dallas Mavericks at the February trade deadline after the two sides could not agree on the terms of a max extension. Irving getting dealt to the Mavericks was the ultimate catalyst of the trade that landed Durant in Phoenix mere days later.

Suns Have ‘Difficult’ Path To Landing Kyrie Irving

For those who may be tardy to the party, Earlier this month, the Suns pulled off a blockbuster deal to acquire Bradley Beal from the Washington Wizards in exchange for Chris Paul and Landry Shamet.

After acquiring the three-time All-Star, the Suns have three max contracts on their payroll as Durant and Devin Booker also are on max deals. And Irving is widely expected to demand a max contract from his next team. It is why Haynes expects it to be “difficult” for Phoenix to ink Irving to a deal.

“It would be difficult for the Suns to add Irving due to the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement. If they acquired him via sign-and-trade, they would be hard-capped at the first salary-cap apron, which is currently projected to be $172 million. They also aren’t expected to have access to the $12.4 million non-taxpayer mid-level exception or the $5 million taxpayer mid-level exception at the moment,” Haynes added.

“The Mavericks are still considered the favorites to re-sign Irving. They would ideally like to get a commitment from him early in free agency so he could assist in recruiting other free agents.”

Suns Nearly Traded Deandre Ayton to Mavericks

But one option the Suns could have in a potential Irving deal is the Mavericks’ fascination with Suns starting center Deandre Ayton. Per NBA insider Marc Stein, the Suns came close to trading Ayton to the Mavericks before the NBA Draft.

“The Phoenix Suns engaged in advanced discussions to trade former No. 1 overall pick Deandre Ayton to the Dallas Mavericks last week during the NBA Draft before the talks stalled, league sources say,” Stein wrote. “The proposed deal, sources tell The Stein Line, would have sent Ayton to Dallas for Tim Hardaway Jr., Richaun Holmes, and JaVale McGee — but the Suns balked at McGee’s inclusion.”

The insider also noted that the two sides could revisit the deal in the future.

“Sources with knowledge of the Phoenix/Dallas trade discussions said a resumption of the Ayton talks could not be ruled out,” Stein added.

“Trading for Ayton would be a pricey gamble for Dallas, given the years and millions left on the inconsistent big man’s deal, but it’s a gamble that the Mavericks would ultimately be willing to take given their need for a center and the relatively low cost to acquire the player chosen two picks ahead of Luka Dončić at No. 1 overall in 2018.”