This past season, the Dallas Mavericks took a massive swing, making a blockbuster deal for Kyrie Irving at the trade deadline. Unfortunately, in the short term, the trade didn’t pan out.
Rather than propel them forward, Irving’s impact fell flat. Dallas failed to even make the Play-In Tournament and was forced to watch the postseason from their couches at home.
With Luka Doncic at the helm, that level of failure should be unacceptable. However, it’s hard to judge the move based on half a season of gameplay. The duo of Doncic and Irving needs more time.
That being said, it’s up to the Mavericks to ensure that happens, as Irving will be an unrestricted free agent this summer, and Dallas has to bring him back.
And while they will almost certainly look to do so, Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report thinks it will be one of the “biggest overpays” of the NBA offseason.
Mavericks' Kyrie Irving extension labeled as a potential 'biggest overpay'
The years of Irving playing 70 or more games have come and gone, as he’s failed to reach that mark in every season since 2016-17. In fact, in two of the last four years, Irving has failed to play more than 30 games.
Irving’s off-the-court actions were the primary reason for this, and while Dallas fans may want to believe those days are behind him, it’s impossible to know what to expect from the point guard.
"Had Forrest Gump taken up life as an NBA analyst, he would have inevitably compared mercurial point guard Kyrie Irving to that proverbial box of chocolates. You truly never know what you're going to get out of Uncle Drew."- Zach Buckley, Bleacher Report
Aside from the off-the-court uncertainty of Irving, there are also some financial reasons to consider before handing him a massive new extension.
With the new CBA coming into effect, spending will be punished, and Irving’s next contract is set to cost the Mavericks a pretty penny. He’ll be making upward of $60 million by the end of it.
"A five-year max could get Irving north of $272 million. A four-year max would net him roughly $210 million. Those are staggering numbers for a 31-year-old who has missed more games than he's played the past four seasons."- Zach Buckley, Bleacher Report
All that being said, Dallas seems determined to bring Irving back, and by all accounts, he seems to want to stay with the Mavericks. It seems like a safe bet to assume that Irving will be back in blue and silver next season.
But a few years down the road, the Mavericks could look upon their decision-making this summer with regret. As young as Doncic is, they only have a limited amount of time to make it work with him.
Investing in Irving as his co-star is a solid decision on the court, but with the amount of money he will be making and the uncertainty he constantly carries with him, Irving’s next contract extension could absolutely end up being an overpay.
And if that overpay ends up leading to the Mavericks becoming a jumbled mess, Doncic could be out the door.