The Dallas Mavericks are set to have a ton of crucial decisions ahead of them this offseason as they look to bounce back from a brutal end to this past season that saw them miss out on the Play-In Tournament entirely.
Luka Doncic still managed to make All-NBA First Team, but the fact that Dallas was unable to capitalize on their superstar’s success, which was a failure they cannot afford to repeat.
For the Mavericks, everything will start with Kyrie Irving, who they traded for at the deadline this past year, giving up Spencer Dinwiddie, Dorian Finney-Smith, and draft capital.
The star point guard will be an unrestricted free agent this summer, meaning the Mavericks will have to outbid other suitors in order to retain Irving’s services.
But right now, they might be the only team bidding.
According to long-time NBA insider Marc Stein and his newsletter, “The Stein Line,” (subscription required) the Mavericks are currently the only team in the Irving sweepstakes, as no other squads around the league are taking an interest at the moment.
Stein said that the Mavericks are “the only confirmed bidder for Irving's services,” with NBA free agency set to open at 6 p.m. on June 30.
Dallas can offer more money than other teams, but right now, they might not have to. That’s not to say they wouldn’t give Irving the most they can, just that he might not have any other offers to consider.
At the same time, Stein did mention another team that could sneak into the race for Irving should their other plans fall through, and it’s a division rival.
Per Stein, the Houston Rockets could consider getting in on the bidding war (or lack thereof) for Irving should James Harden re-sign with the Philadelphia 76ers instead of making his long-rumored return to Houston.
Stein made sure to emphasize the fact that Houston’s potential interest is just that, “potential interest,” and they would only consider the idea of Irving, but it’s an intriguing tidbit nonetheless.
And at the same time, Stein noted that Irving would be the Rockets’ third choice of guard behind Harden and newly-minted free agent Fred VanVleet.
The Miami Heat were also mentioned in Stein’s reporting as a team that could potentially be interested, but the possibility was only noted in reference to the fact that they just missed out on a trade for Bradley Beal, who was dealt to the Phoenix Suns in the first big-time blockbuster of the summer.
Other teams could come out of the shadows to make the situation difficult for Dallas, but as of now, the Mavericks might not have to worry about other bidders in their quest to re-sign Irving.