Will Kyrie Irving choose Mavericks over joining LeBron James and Lakers this summer?

Tyler Watts
Dallas Mavericks, Kyrie Irving
Dallas Mavericks, Kyrie Irving / Tim Nwachukwu/GettyImages
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The Dallas Mavericks pulled off a blockbuster trade for eight-time All-Star Kyrie Irving just before the deadline. They wanted a second star to pair with Luka Doncic as Dallas hopes to jump into title contention. The two superstars are still trying to figure out how to play together, but early signs suggest it could be a special partnership.

The Mavs need to prove to Kyrie that this is where he wants to be long-term and fast. He will be an unrestricted free agent this summer, and he requested a trade out of Brooklyn because they would not give him a max contract. Irving can get a five-year deal from Dallas, and four years from every other team, but he wants max dollars in his new deal.

Kyrie will have no restrictions on where he can sign in free agency, and the 30-year-old point guard figures to have multiple suitors. The Los Angeles Lakers will make a hard push as LeBron James wants to get them back in title contention. James and Irving won a championship together in Cleveland in 2016, and they would be a force in LA. Does Kyrie pick Dallas over reuniting with LeBron? Here is a look at why he should and what he will do this summer.

Dallas Mavericks give Kyrie Irving a better shot at contending for a championship than the Lakers

The Lakers just ran this experiment with Russell Westbrook. If they sign Kyrie Irving to a max contract or anywhere near that this summer, they will have to fill out their roster with minimum players around their three stars. It did not work with Westbrook, and it won’t with Kyrie. Finding one or two players on minimum contracts that can provide a spark is a plus, but it is impossible to have five of them in the rotation and expect to contend for a championship.

Luka Doncic is one of the best players in the world, and the Mavs are committed to doing whatever it takes to build a title contender around him. They will add a defensive-minded wing this offseason, and Josh Green will continue to improve. Expect Dallas to search for an upgrade at the five and some depth. The Mavericks will trade their two available first-round picks as they look to become a title contender.

The Lakers have struggled to stay healthy and the NBA’s all-time leading scorer will be 39 years old in December. It is a risky situation. They could contend if everything breaks right, but what are the chances? Los Angeles's only surefire shot would be swapping Anthony Davis for Irving in a sign-and-trade. That would give them cap space to round out their roster.

The Dallas Mavericks will be better next season if Kyrie Irving stays, and they could build something special for years to come.