The Dallas Mavericks enter the 2023 offseason with massive question marks surrounding their roster. They traded for Kyrie Irving in February only to suffer an epic late-season collapse that forced Dallas into the lottery. They need to make significant roster upgrades, but the top priority is retaining the eight-time All-Star as he heads into unrestricted free agency.
Irving made his intentions clear. The 6’2 point guard is in no rush to make his decision, and he is free to sign with any team this summer. Kyrie wants a max contract, but can he find a team willing to give him one?
The Lakers' interest has renewed after they were swept by the Nuggets in the Western Conference Finals and D’Angelo Russell was benched in Game 4. LeBron has been recruiting Kyrie for months, but will he head to the Lakers? Marc Stein's latest report (subscription required) makes the possibility even harder.
Rumors: Dallas Mavericks have 0 interest in D’Angelo Russell in Kyrie Irving sign-and-trade
Stein noted two key elements for Mavericks fans in his latest column. Dallas is focused on bringing Irving back next season, and the franchise has “no interest” in a Lakers sign-and-trade featuring D’Angelo Russell as the primary return.
The first part should come as zero surprise. The Mavericks gave up Dorian Finney-Smith, Spencer Dinwiddie, one first-round draft pick, and two second-rounders to acquire Irving in February. They planned to make it a long-term partnership. Dallas would not have given up that much to acquire him if they wanted anything else.
The Mavs should not be interested in D-Lo either. Russell was an All-Star in 2019, but his defense makes him nearly unplayable in the postseason. The 6’4 guard was hunted whenever he was on the floor in the playoffs, and Dallas wants to be in contention. They struggled mightily defensively with Kyrie Irving flanking Luka Doncic in the backcourt, and Russell is a worse defender than Irving. The deal makes zero sense for Dallas, so fans should not be surprised by the Mavericks' lack of interest.
Without D’Angelo Russell coming back in return, it makes it hard to see Kyrie Irving joining the Los Angeles Lakers this summer. LA will have no interest in parting with Anthony Davis or Austin Reaves, and the Mavericks have zero reasons to let him go to a rival. If Kyrie is unwilling to take a pay cut, that likely eliminates the Lakers' pursuit before it started.
Where will Kyrie Irving end up next season? Do the Dallas Mavericks re-sign him? Stay tuned for all the latest.