The Dallas Mavericks' season after trading for Kyrie Irving has gone less than ideal to say the least.
The Mavericks are 7-10 in games with Kyrie and are 4-9 in games with both Luka Doncic and Irving in the lineup. Having both stars healthy has been a problem since the trade, and it seems like they haven't fully figured out how to play alongside each other yet.
Dallas hasn't gained any momentum and has fallen to the 11th seed in the Western Conference and out of the Play-In Tournament as of March 31.
Is Kyrie Irving here to stay? Dallas Mavericks star gives cryptic quote after loss to 76ers
This is not where Dallas fans expected to see their team in the standings with just over a week to go in the season. The Mavericks were as high as the fourth seed since trading for Irving but haven't been able to play consistently as of late.
"I think their realistic view is that when I came here that this was going to be a growing process. This was for the long term and this was for something that is bigger than ourselves and we can't just be a championship team overnight."- Kyrie Irving
This quote alone shows that Irving understands that this team wasn't going to play at an elite level as soon as he got here. He understands that getting in a rhythm with his new teammates takes time, and the Mavericks weren't going to be NBA Finals contenders right away.
Could this "growing process" that Irving referred to be the Mavericks re-signing him in the offseason and building around him and Doncic?
Nico Harrison already has a close relationship with Irving from his days at Nike and probably wouldn't make this trade if he didn't think Irving would re-sign. He wouldn't give up Dorian Finney-Smith, Spencer Dinwiddie, and multiple draft picks for a two-month rental of a superstar.
Contract talks with Irving will begin this summer, and after hearing this from Irving, Mavericks' fans should feel much better about the team's chances of retaining him. He seems invested in the Mavericks' long-term plan, whatever that may be, and working to make this team a championship contender.