2. Kyrie Irving will help optimize Luka Doncic after a full training camp together
Kyrie Irving has the ability to unlock Luka Doncic's game to another level this next season.
Luka's usage rate during the 2022-23 season was 36.8 percent, ranking 3rd in the league among qualifying players.
Doncic had plenty of performances where the Mavericks needed his obscene level of offensive output, and it admittedly caught up to Doncic by the end of the year. But Irving will alleviate a huge amount of that stress offensively next year and drive that percentage down.
Irving is strong-willed and has the mentality to be more aggressive, so there's not really much to worry about as a Mavs fan, given that it's very understandable that adjusting to a new system could cause hesitancy at times. Irving had this to say following a close loss to the Pacers in a late February game.
"I would love to play well, every single night. I was just texting with my dad — my biggest fan, one of my harshest critics. But he's always gonna keep it honest, and I appreciate that. He's been watching me play for a long time, and he just told me to stay aggressive, and he said it looked like I was overthinking out there."- Kyrie Irving
Kyrie bounced back with 40 points the following game against Philadelphia and displayed the full potential of him and Luka together.
They routinely traded off possessions as the primary ball handler in that game, and Doncic even set screens for Irving to alleviate pressure and create space on the perimeter when either of them was trapped at the point of attack. Doncic finished with 42 points in the game, and the game epitomizes what peak Luka and Kyrie can look like together.
There was enough of a late-season sample size of Luka and Kyrie thriving together that one can expect Irving to add more to Doncic's game after a full training camp together, rather than subtract from them because he's taking the ball out of Luka's hands too much.