3 reasons why trading for LeBron James would destroy the Dallas Mavericks' franchise

Dallas Mavericks, LeBron James
Dallas Mavericks, LeBron James / Harry How/GettyImages
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Make sure you strap in tight because the NBA off-season is starting to look like it will be a wild ride. Shams Charania of The Athletic dropped an intriguing tweet claiming that according to sources, "Kyrie Irving has reached out to Lakers star LeBron James in attempts to see if James would come to Dallas. Irving is a free agent this offseason."

If his sources are correct, that leaves quite a lot to unpack. It would mean Irving is interested in pairing up with James again. It is also interesting that Dallas is the desired destination in this scenario.

Regardless of how juicy this story is, and could be, it doesn't make sense for the Dallas Mavericks.

3. Dallas Would Mortgage Their Future

For starters, LeBron isn't a free agent, and the Lakers wouldn't just hand him over to Dallas. The Mavericks would have to match salaries and give the Lakers a reason to trade him. LeBron is also due to make roughly $47 million next season.

In a trade for James, the Mavs would likely have to put Josh Green and Jaden Hardy in the deal, plus the tenth pick in the 2023 NBA draft. Dallas would also have to include some combination of Tim Hardaway Jr., Maxi Kleber, Reggie Bullock, and Davis Bertans to make salaries match.

It could be argued that Dallas might be able to keep the tenth pick, Green, or Hardy if a third team is added to make the trade work. But it's hard to imagine a scenario where a deal of this magnitude is made without the Mavs giving up all three.

Those two guys and the draft pick are the only youth Dallas has to build around for the future (outside of Luka Doncic). Dallas would have almost nothing left for the future, even if two of those three assets were gone.

The Dallas Mavericks' roster would consist of Doncic, Kyrie Irving, James, and some guys on minimum contracts.

LeBron also has a player option after next season, which means the Mavs would only be guaranteed to have him for one year. In the event he either retired or left Dallas after the 2023-2024 season, the Mavs could only trade their 2027 first-round pick (due to previous trades with the Knicks and Nets) to potentially rebuild the entire roster around Luka and Kyrie (if they stay). The 2026 first-round pick would be available if the 2024 pick conveys to the Knicks.

The NBA doesn't allow teams to trade first-round picks in back-to-back seasons.