Kyrie Irving Next NBA Team Odds Features Mavs, Lakers as Heavy Favorites
- Grant Afseth
DALLAS — The Dallas Mavericks have a clear top offseason priority: re-sign Kyrie Irving. He is eligible to sign a five-year deal worth up to $272.9 million if he was to re-sign with the Mavs. If he chooses to outright sign elsewhere, the largest contract he could sign is a four-year, $201.7 million contract.
Irving continued to prove that he's one of the NBA's elite point guards, averaging 27.1 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 5.3 assists in 60 appearances. He remains one of the league's most skilled scorers and as a result will command a massive contract despite being a 31-year-old with an injury history.
As the situation currently stands, Irving is undecided on what he'll do next despite his name becoming the most talked about around the league since the buzz has waned surrounding Victor Wembanyama at the lottery. Irving plans to take his time before making a decision.
"I'm a free agent this summer, but I am in no rush to make a decision," Irving said on his Instagram Live from Wednesday. "When [these media personalities] speak on my name and they're talking about potential teams that I'm going to, can y'all please — I respectfully, I'm asking you — stop paying attention to that."
While Irving isn't happy with media members for speculating about his free agency decision, it won't stop Las Vegas from getting a read on the decision and taking your money to bet on the outcome.
According to Bookies.com, the Mavs are the favorites to re-sign Irving with +150 odds, resulting in a 40.0% implied probability. The only other team with implied probability of 10 percent or greater is the Los Angeles Lakers at 36.4% with +175 odds. Essentially, the view is a two-team race for Irving's services.
The Mavs didn't give Irving a great showcase having gone 7-15 after the NBA All-Star break and failing to qualify for the play-in tournament. Regardless, the team remains optimistic about their outlook to re-sign the superstar based on conversations they've had with him throughout his short time in Dallas.
“I think the things that he said along the way about how he feels here, how he feels appreciated, how he feels accepted and allowed to be himself — those are the things that he said kind of consistently,” Mavs general manager Nico Harrison said of Irving's free agency at his media exit interview. “That’s what gives me the optimism that he wants to be here.”
The Mavs like the fit between Luka Doncic and Irving, but feel as though upgrades to their supporting cast are essential. Harrison highlighted "defense and rebounding" as top priorities after giving up 116.1 points per 100 possessions (25th) and ranking last in total rebounding percentage (47.1%).
“I think Luka and Kai work together,” Harrison said. “I think when we have that talented of a player — that talented of two players — I think they work together. I really think it’s the players around them … kind of knowing their role with having those two guys out on the floor at the same time. I think that’s the thing that we need to work on.”
The Mavs have the 10th pick and their 2027 selection as the only first-round picks they are eligible to trade this offseason. They are a team that has plenty of contracts that most teams around the league are not going to be eager to take on via trade without being compensated for doing so.
As far as next team odds are concerned, next up after the Mavs and Lakers was Los Angeles' other team — the Clippers — with +950 odds (9.5% implied probability). It would be a tough scenario to navigate due to hard cap implications. The possibility of games missed involving a trio of Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, and Irving would also be genuinely concerning.
The Houston Rockets and San Antonio Spurs are teams with a lot of salary cap space to work with this offseason and were naturally included. Both teams have motivations to win immediately, but it remains to be seen how they would view Irving as a possibility. James Harden remains strongly linked to the Rockets, while the Spurs will surely desire to compete after landing Wembanyama. Houston landed +1,000 odds (9.1% implied probability), while the Spurs received +1,800 odds (5.3% implied probability).
The Atlanta Hawks were mentioned as a possibility despite already having Trae Young. The idea behind their inclusion was for the team to engage in a deal sending Young to the Mavs in exchange for Irving via sign-and-trade. However, such an outcome is about as unlikely as it gets. The Hawks received +1,400 odds, with 6.7% implied probability.
Another option listed the Chicago Bulls with +1500 odds and 6.3% implied probability. With Lonzo Ball's continued injury struggles and there not being indication of the team rebuilding yet, the idea is that Irving could perhaps provide a necessary jolt to help them salvage the current version of their team. This one isn't a realistic outcome either.
There were some specific teams listed essentially as honorable mentions when highlighting possible options for "the field" — including the Miami Heat and Washington Wizards. Among the teams outside of the Mavs and Lakers, a logical option would be the Heat due to a strong team culture and Jimmy Butler's view of Kyrie Irving. If Miami falls short in its NBA Finals run, the scenario perhaps become more worth entertaining.
Grant Afseth is a Dallas Mavericks reporter for DallasBasketball.com and an NBA reporter for NBA Analysis Network. He previously covered the Indiana Pacers and NBA for CNHI's Kokomo Tribune and various NBA teams for USA TODAY Sports Media Group. Follow him on Twitter (@grantafseth), Facebook (@grantgafseth), and YouTube (@grantafseth).
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