1. Take pressure off of Luka Doncic
The Dallas Mavericks and, more specifically, Luka Doncic were most successful when they paired the Slovenian superstar with a top-notch ball-handler.
During their 2022 run to the Western Conference Finals, that player was Jalen Brunson. Even Spencer Dinwiddie helped provide some extra ball handling.
Now that both of those guys are gone, it will be up to Kyrie Irving to fill that void.
But combined with that will be Irving’s duty to take some eyes away from Doncic, who is the clear focal point of the Mavericks offense. He runs the show in Dallas, and everyone knows it.
Before Irving arrived in Dallas last year, Doncic was the only real scoring threat on the team. Dinwiddie gave them a bit of shot creation but nothing close to what Irving will provide.
With Irving on the outside, ready to strike, teams won’t be able to load up on Doncic nearly as much, giving him some room to work. And if they do double Doncic, Irving will be right there to pick them apart.
Irving is one of the best ball-handlers in NBA history, giving the Mavericks not one but two elite offensive weapons to work with. If there were any guard capable of taking eyes away from Doncic, it would be Irving. And that’s exactly what the Mavericks want.