Kyrie Irving Free Agency: Mavs ‘Don't Plan Assisting’ LeBron's Lakers with Sign-&-Trade
- Dalton Trigg
With just a little over one month remaining until NBA free agency, star point guard Kyrie Irving's future is still uncertain, but one thing is clear: Re-signing him is still the team's top priority this summer.
Given Irving's relationship with LeBron James, speculation has grown about the possibility of him signing with the Los Angeles Lakers. For that to happen, though, a number of hurdles would have to be cleared due to L.A.'s salary-cap situation, and for now, it appears that the Mavs have no intentions of helping the Lakers – or any team for that matter – with sign-and-trade opportunities.
"Unless the Lakers somehow make Austin Reaves available in a return sign-and-trade or decide they’re willing to trade Anthony Davis — and they won’t — there’s really no reason for the Mavericks to assist Los Angeles if Irving chooses to sign there. Especially not if D’Angelo Russell is the consolation prize," The Athletic's Tim Cato wrote.
"It requires tact, but the Mavericks should simply tell Irving upfront what contract they would like for him to re-sign, and while he certainly has the right to leave, they don’t plan to assist any other team in acquiring him. They have the most appealing offer."
Although it's correct that the Mavs have the most appealing potential offer for Irving, that doesn't necessarily mean they'll end up offering it. Last summer, immediately following the Mavs' Western Conference Finals loss to the Golden State Warriors, owner Mark Cuban infamously told NBA reporter Marc Stein, "We can pay him more than anyone... I think he wants to stay, and that's important."
The rest is history, as Brunson left the Mavs to join the New York Knicks in free agency on a four-year, $100+ million deal that was likely a lot more than what Cuban and company anticipated him being offered elsewhere.
The Mavs must avoid making the same mistake this time around, because although losing Brunson hurt, they didn't trade away valuable pieces to acquire him. Dallas parted ways with two starters in Dorian Finney-Smith and Spencer Dinwiddie, as well as an unprotected 2029 first-round pick and their final second-round pick for the next seven years to get Irving at this year's trade deadline.
For the Dallas front office, retaining Irving, as well as building around the Luka Doncic-led duo remains the top priority of the offseason, and how could it not? Another Brunson-like mishap would cast yet another dark cloud over a franchise that has had to deal with many stormy days over the last year.
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