Grade the Trade: Dallas Mavericks send Kyrie Irving to Lakers in laughable proposal
By Tyler Watts
The Dallas Mavericks traded for Kyrie Irving in February to give Luka Doncic a co-star. The eight-time All-Star wanted out of Brooklyn after three and a half tumultuous seasons with the Nets, and the Mavs stepped up to acquire him. Dallas gave up Dorian Finney-Smith, Spencer Dinwiddie, a 2029 first-round draft pick, and two second-rounders in what was a hefty price considering Kyrie is an unrestricted free agent this summer.
The Mavericks flopped after trading for Kyrie, including losing 18 of their final 25 games to miss the playoffs entirely. It has everyone wondering what Irving will do in free agency. He is free to sign with any team, but he needs to find someone willing to give him the max salary.
The Lakers appear to be emerging as the Mavs' biggest competition to keeping Kyrie. LeBron James has been recruiting his former co-star for months, and Irving was in attendance for two Lakers playoff games. To head to LA, it would likely take a sign-and-trade, and Bleacher Report offered one for fans.
Dallas Mavericks give Kyrie Irving his wish to play for the Lakers
The Lakers can create just over $30 million in cap space this summer, and still keep Austin Reaves. It would gut their roster, but LeBron might feel they need that after getting swept by the Nuggets in the Western Conference Finals. Unless Kyrie is willing to take $30 million per season to play in LA, the two sides will have to work out a sign-and-trade like this.
The Mavs have a bit of added leverage in this sign-and-trade scenario, especially if they want to keep Kyrie. Irving could make $47 million next season if he stays in Dallas. They can play hardball with the Lakers and force the eight-time All-Star’s hand. Kyrie would then have the option to play for $30 million, get LA to increase their offer, or re-sign with the Mavericks.
Why would either side do this trade?