1. Acquiring LeBron James Wouldn't Make Them Contenders
Let's not forget that LeBron will be turning 39 years old this December and hasn't played more than 56 games in five of the last six seasons. He played 67 games during the 2019-2020 season, but that year also included a break due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Over the last six seasons, Kyrie Irving has only played 290 out of a possible 482 regular season games. That averages out to about 48 games every year.
Luka Doncic hasn't exactly been an iron man, either. He's only averaging 66 regular season games per season during his five-year NBA career.
That means Dallas would rely on three players prone to missing considerable chunks of games throughout the season. How would they compete in a Western Conference that is stacked with talent?
Trading for LeBron would still leave them with the same holes they are trying to plug this off-season. Rim protection, rebounding, and perimeter defense would remain glaring weaknesses. James can rebound, but he and Luka get the same-type rebounds. They would undoubtedly eat into each other's numbers there, and Dallas would still need a new big to swallow up the tough-bouncing rebounds.
Offensively, all three guys are most impactful with the ball in their hands. Sure, they would probably have amazing highlight reel plays and have some stretches where their one-on-one talents would win some games, but they wouldn't complement one another's strengths.
Luka has struggled to show interest up to this point when he is playing off the ball. Kyrie Irving can do it, but he's at his best creating off the dribble. LeBron shot 32 percent from three in the 2022-2023 regular season and just 26 percent in the playoffs.
Having two guys share ball-handling responsibilities is doable, if not preferred. Who would be the lead ball handler when all three guys are on the court together?
The lack of spacing LeBron would create without the ball in his hands due to his poor three-point shooting would almost make him the preferred option. But that takes away from what makes Luka and Kyrie special.
Defensively, it would be a horror show. Think about how bad the Dallas defense was last year, and then make it worse. That's what the Mavericks would look like if they traded for LeBron.
A 39-year-old LeBron would be the team's best defender, and he hasn't shown the ability or will to be a consistently good defensive player in years. Doncic is a decent defender when he tries, but his fatigue and lack of speed prevent him from stopping the more formidable offense guards in the NBA. Irving tries hard on defense, but his lack of size makes him a target for opposing offenses.
They would get torched against good offensive teams or any team that is above average athletically.
Trading for LeBron wouldn't make the Dallas Mavericks contenders. It would destroy their future and almost surely be signing Luka's ticket out of Dallas in a couple of years.