The Dallas Mavericks are in an interesting spot this summer, as they have a ton of different directions they could choose to go in as they attempt to move on from their failure to make the Play-In Tournament this past season.
That being said, everything comes back to Kyrie Irving.
Dallas took a major swing at the trade deadline, swinging a blockbuster deal for Irving, sending out major assets in the process, and committing to the pairing of him and Luka Doncic.
However, Doncic and Irving failed to make the Play-In, and now, Irving is an unrestricted free agent. The Mavericks either need to re-sign him or conduct a sign-and-trade to get some sort of assets back. Losing him for nothing would be a disaster.
Mavericks have little interest in making Kyrie Irving sign-and-trade
And while both are solid options, the Mavericks seem dead set on bringing Irving back. According to Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports, the Mavericks “signaled little willingness” to make an Irving sign-and-trade with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Fischer mentioned the information in tandem with the idea that the Phoenix Suns could attempt to bring Irving on board to play with Kevin Durant and Devin Booker.
"If there’s one dreamy framework that could become a reality, let’s not forget Phoenix’s strong overtures to acquire Kyrie Irving — another key point guard of this offseason — before Brooklyn dealt the dazzling ball-handler to Dallas. The Suns backed off their pursuit of Irving and refocused on landing a bigger prize in Durant, but Phoenix officials haven’t just abandoned the interest they held in Irving four months ago. That would require some cooperation from the Mavericks, who have so far signaled little willingness to entertain a possible sign-and-trade for Irving with the Lakers, sources said.”"- Jake Fischer, Yahoo Sports
He stated that the Mavericks’ priority is still to retain Irving, but if they were forced to make a sign-and-trade, getting back someone like Lakers guard D’Angelo Russell could be something they entertain.
"Dallas, of course, hopes to retain Irving after mortgaging two key rotation pieces plus a 2029 first-round pick to acquire him. But if Irving were to call his shot out of town, perhaps the Mavericks would be more willing to work with a return that netted Paul as opposed to Los Angeles point guard D’Angelo Russell."- Jake Fischer, Yahoo Sports
While a sign-and-trade could net the Mavericks some valuable assets, keeping Irving around would be the best possible scenario in terms of pure talent.
Plus, Irving seems relatively happy in Dallas, as he’s even been trying to lure former teammates to the Mavericks. And while the LeBron James trade rumors are likely nothing but random offseason chatter, it shows that Irving is at least a little bit committed to Dallas.
But nothing is set in stone. Irving is completely free to sign with whatever team he wants to this offseason, meaning the Mavericks will need to work hard to bring him back.
Jalen Brunson found a ton of success with Doncic in the 2021-22 playoffs, so it’s very clear that the Slovenian star is comfortable playing with other ball handlers. If anything, it helps take the pressure off of him.
Dallas’ hope has to be that Doncic and Irving will be able to develop a great partnership next season, allowing the Mavericks to breakthrough and get back into the postseason.
Right now, it looks like Irving will be back in blue next season, but as we’ve seen with the point guard in the past, things can change at the drop of a hat.