5 things Mavericks must do to become title contenders after Kyrie Irving trade

Tyler Watts
Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic, Kyrie Irving
Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic, Kyrie Irving / Tim Heitman/GettyImages
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The Dallas Mavericks wanted to find a second star to pair with Luka Doncic, so they pulled off a blockbuster trade for Kyrie Irving. Acquiring the 30-year-old gave Dallas two All-Star starters, and put the Mavs in the conversation for the best superstar duo in the league.

They needed to improve the talent around LD to become legitimate title contenders, and Irving gives them a needed second star. Is that enough? The Mavericks will add more talent in the offseason if they can convince Irving to stay long-term. They will be in the market for a 3-and-D wing and rim protector this summer.

Can the Mavs become title contenders this season? It won’t be easy given their current roster, but here are five things they must do over the final six weeks of the regular season and into the playoffs.

What Dallas Mavericks must do to become title contenders: 5. Win non-Luka minutes

Over the last three seasons, the Mavs have outscored the opposition by 563 total points when Luka Doncic is on the floor, and they have struggled in the minutes with him on the bench. Things got worse after Jalen Brunson left in free agency. Dallas had the best offense in the NBA with Doncic on the floor this season and the worst when he was on the bench.

The stark contrast was most visible when Luka had to miss a game. They struggled on the offensive end of the floor and were not getting enough defensive holds and rebounds to make up for it.

Doncic should be able to rest now as Kyrie Irving will take over the offense. Having two elite players is fun, especially when fans know either could explode for a massive performance on any night. The Dallas Mavericks need to win the minutes when Luka Doncic is on the bench if they want to take that next step toward title contention. The eight-time All-Star will pick apart second units, and he has already provided a spark in his first five games with the Mavs.