Mavericks ripped to shreds for Kyrie Irving contract: 'Dangerous game'

The Dallas Mavericks signed Kyrie Irving to a new contract this summer, but Greg Swartz of Bleacher Report believes they are playing a "dangerous game."
Dallas Mavericks, Kyrie Irving, NBA Free Agency
Dallas Mavericks, Kyrie Irving, NBA Free Agency / Ron Jenkins/GettyImages

The Dallas Mavericks made sure to stay active this summer, as this past season ended in disappointment for them. They missed out on the postseason entirely, failing to even qualify for the Play-In Tournament.

In their quest to improve, the Mavericks have already made a flurry of moves this offseason, adding players through the draft, free agency, and via trades.

Dallas drafted Dereck Lively II and Olivier-Maxence Prosper, traded for Richaun Holmes and Grant Williams in separate deals, and signed Seth Curry and Dante Exum in free agency.

But perhaps their biggest move of the summer was the new contract they handed superstar point guard Kyrie Irving, who they traded for at the deadline this past year, giving up Spencer Dinwiddie, Dorian Finney-Smith, and draft capital.

The Mavericks inked Irving to a shiny new three-year, $142 million contract, and in the first year, Irving even helped the Mavs by taking less money so they could still have the full MLE available to them.

However, not everybody was pleased with the move, and some even believe it could come back to haunt the Mavericks. In an article about which free agency moves could look the worst in three years, Bleacher Report’s Greg Swartz listed the new Irving contract.

Swartz noted Irving’s lack of consistency with any team since the Cleveland Cavaliers as a primary reason for concern, as since leaving Cleveland in 2017, he has been a controversial figure.

According to Swartz, committing to Irving as Luka Doncic’s long-term partner is a “dangerous game.”

"Tying perhaps the most unpredictable player in the NBA to Luka Dončić is a dangerous game to play for Dallas, a franchise that is still widely carried by its Slovenian superstar. If (when?) Irving grows unhappy or becomes a distraction, the Mavs can only hope that Dončić doesn't ask out as well."

Greg Swartz, Bleacher Report

Doncic is undercontract through the 2026-27 season with a player option in that final year. Discounting the player option year, Irving and Doncic are not fully under contract in Dallas for the same number of seasons.

That means the Mavericks have three years to figure things out in an attempt to give those two the best-possible chance to win a championship or they risk losing them both.

Obviously, Irving is a wild card at this point. For now, he seems content in Dallas, and he’s stated that he wants to remain with the Mavericks, but Boston Celtics fans have heard that story before.

The real concern with this contract should be Doncic. If the Irving pairing doesn’t work out or the inconsistent point guard decides he doesn’t want to be in Dallas anymore, where does that leave Doncic?

For now, the Irving contract seems fine, and if he and Doncic play well together, no one will bat an eye. But the second things take a turn for the worse (if they do), this deal could come back to bite the Mavericks.