2. Kyrie Irving
Irving is a soon-to-be free agent, but that does not matter here. Dallas acquired his Bird rights, so they can offer the most money and years. No team is eager to give the eight-time All-Star a five-year deal, especially after his tumultuous tenure in Brooklyn, but Irving is a max player. The two sides will haggle over the years, but Dallas is in the pole position to re-sign him.
Even if they cannot, the Mavs should be able to get something in return for the 31-year-old superstar. Irving is an unrestricted free agent, but only rebuilding teams have cap space this summer. Kyrie is going to want to join a contender, and the only way to get there is through a sign-and-trade.
The Dallas Mavericks just gave up two starters and three draft picks to acquire Kyrie Irving from the Nets. Can they get that back in return? The 6’2 guard produced fantastic numbers in Dallas, despite the wins not coming. The Mavs should be able to get at least one first-round pick and a few pieces in any deal that sends Kyrie elsewhere. The Lakers are the most likely landing spot, and that could mean some of LA’s trade deadline acquisitions coming to Dallas.
Kyrie’s free agency is massive. The Mavs cannot afford to lose their second-best player two years in a row. They have to find a way to keep Irving, and if they cannot, something valuable has to come back to Dallas in a sign-and-trade.