The Dallas Mavericks want to keep Kyrie Irving, but the 31-year-old is set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer. Dallas traded two starters and three draft picks, including one first-rounder, to the Nets to acquire the eight-time All-Star in February. It was a massive risk, but the Mavs wanted to get Luka Doncic a co-star.
Irving is in no rush to make his decision. Things in Dallas did not go as planned as the Mavericks missed the playoffs entirely after losing 18 of their final 25 gams in an epic late-season collapse. It was the first time Kyrie’s team had not reached the postseason since 2014. Will he return to Dallas? The Mavs can offer the most years and money, but that may not matter.
The Lakers are rumored to be interested, but they face a difficult path to securing his services. LA can only create about $30 million in cap space, so Irving would have to come on a discount. What are the odds? The Athletic’s Jovan Buha set them in his latest mailbag (subscription required).
Mavericks rumors: Lakers reporter sets odds of Kyrie Irving coming to LA
Buha put the Lakers' chances at ten to 15 percent, which he referred to as “low”, but “certainly possible”. LA has to choose a path this summer. Landing Kyrie means depleting their depth and letting numerous key pieces from their run to the conference finals go in free agency.
I’d put LA’s odds even lower than that for a lot of the reasons Buha mentions. Things have to fall into place just right for the Lakers to get Kyrie. If the Mavericks are unwilling to negotiate a sign-and-trade, which Tim Cato reported they were unlikely to do (subscription required), then taking a pay cut is the only option for Irving to sign with the Lakers.
Will he leave massive money on the table to join King James in Los Angeles? That seems unlikely, but fans cannot rule it out completely. Irving and LeBron remain close, and the 6'2 could be willing to sacrifice to go to Los Angeles.
Will Kyrie Irving be back with the Dallas Mavericks next season? It is too soon to tell for certain, but they will be in hot pursuit of him this summer. Will that be enough? Stay tuned for all the latest on Irving’s free agency along with opinions and analysis that MFFLs would want to miss.