NBA insider predicts Lakers offseason move for Mavs’ Kyrie Irving to reunite with LeBron James

The Dallas Mavericks’ midseason trade to acquire Kyrie Irving from the Brooklyn Nets has not paid off as expected. The team struggled defensively and lacked chemistry, resulting in losses in several close games. While the potential of a backcourt featuring Irving and Luka Doncic is intriguing, the Mavericks need a competent supporting cast to achieve desired success. However, with limited assets and spending mechanisms, it remains uncertain if the Mavericks can pull this off.

The Los Angeles Lakers are often mentioned as a potential suitor for Kyrie Irving according to multiple sources, but adding a third superstar to their already high payroll would be challenging. The Lakers have many impending free agents to solve for, and their playoff run is still uncertain.

The short-term focus for the Mavericks is the NBA Lottery, with the 10th-best odds of landing the top overall pick. However, the team must also find effective ways to use their available spending mechanisms, whether Irving is re-signed or not. The projected salary cap for 2023-24 is $134 million, which is $10.4 million higher than the previous season. Not many teams can sign Irving to a max contract without a sign-and-trade.

For the Lakers, paying Irving a projected max salary of $47.6 million for 2023-24, in addition to the salaries of LeBron James and Anthony Davis, would set them at just under $141.6 million in spending. They would still need to field a balanced 15-man roster, which would require Irving to be willing to take less money.

“They’ve got to look at this as, OK, how many years does LeBron have and how many years can they actually keep Anthony Davis engaged? Because AD ain’t got any great love for this game. So their window is a short one. Do they go after the superteam piece and figure out how to bring Kyrie in there? You know damn well Kyrie is not coming in for a discount,” said one of the opposing executives.

“So do you stay the course and stick with D-Lo (Russell) and Rui and all of that group and say, ‘OK, let’s play with the two stars and try and have some reasonable depth’? I predict that they’ll try to figure out a way to pay Kyrie Irving and bring him in,” he later added. 

However, the latest developments in the Collective Bargaining Agreement make it more challenging for teams to have a robust payroll and make roster changes. Therefore, ideas like the Lakers paying Irving a max contract are negatively impacted by the new rules.

In conclusion, while the potential of a Doncic-Irving backcourt is exciting, the Mavericks need a competent supporting cast to achieve desired success. The Lakers may struggle to add another superstar given their high payroll, and the new CBA rules make it challenging for teams to make significant roster changes. The short-term focus for the Mavericks is the NBA Lottery, and they need to find effective ways to use their available spending mechanisms.

The LeBron Factor: Why the Lakers’ Pursuit of Kyrie Irving is Complicated

Acquiring Kyrie Irving could be a challenge for the Lakers, who are already operating above the salary cap with LeBron James and Anthony Davis. To execute a trade for Irving, the Lakers would need to satisfy a salary-matching threshold of at least 70 percent, which may require them to trade away most of their supporting cast, including Talen Horton-Tucker, Kendrick Nunn, and Kent Bazemore.

Kyrie Irving
Anthony Davis and LeBron James.

If the Lakers were to include Russell in a sign-and-trade deal for Irving, they would need to find a way to retain some of their complementary pieces while still filling out a full roster. Additionally, they would need to compensate the Mavs to cooperate and make the financial aspect of the deal work, given the considerable disparity in the 2023-24 salary for Irving and Russell.

Another option would be to trade Davis for Irving, but the Lakers would have to be willing to part with their defensive anchor, which may not be ideal. However, Irving may need to take a substantial pay cut for the Lakers to acquire him, which could make the trade more feasible.

As the Lakers navigate the complexities of acquiring Irving, James remains a key factor in their championship aspirations. His leadership, playmaking, and scoring abilities will continue to be crucial to the team’s success. Could Lebron James have his way with the Lakers and acquire his old teammate and friend Kyrie Irving at any cost?

Tahsin Tahmid

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Tahsin Tahmid is a part of the editorial panel of Sports Zion. As a sports and art-loving person, he has the vision to provide authentic information. Being an optimist, he hopes to bring the world closer by spreading love. The NFL is Tahmid's favorite league, and following it, he is a massive fan of Tom Brady and Joe Burrow. On the other hand, when it comes to the NBA, Tahsin loves watching LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo perform.


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