One of the biggest questions in the NBA offseason is whether or not Kyrie Irving decides to continue playing for the Dallas Mavericks next season. Some regarded the Mavericks’ trade for Irving from the Brooklyn Nets before the deadline as a sign of desperation.
BREAKING: Kyrie Irving has requested a trade from the Dallas Mavericks after they failed to sign Meyers Leonard. pic.twitter.com/6eXBpazIIB
— Buttcrack Sports (@ButtCrackSports) February 21, 2023
The future of Kyrie Irving is a matter on which a variety of views exist, according to Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report. Here are a few statements from Pincus on what people are saying about the subject at hand:
“Kyrie will be on his best behavior until he gets paid; after is a different story,” an executive said. “Unless he and Luka actively despise each other, I don’t see Dallas letting him go.”
Another source said “Kyrie’s goal in pushing out of Brooklyn was to get his rights with a team willing to pay him,” one source said. “Dallas is where he’ll want to be.”
In the end, we won’t have a definitive answer until the start of the free agency period, but here is what we do know. After this season, Irving’s initial contract, which he signed with the Nets, will expire, and if a deal with the Mavs cannot be negotiated, he will be available for free agency.
If he chose that path, there are reports that he may sign with the Los Angeles Lakers or Phoenix Suns, which would result in reunions with LeBron James or Kevin Durant, respectively.
In terms of trade assets, the Mavericks still owe the New York Knicks a first-round selection in exchange for Kristaps Porziis. Dallas may exchange two of its next four firsts after it transfers in June (top-10 protected). For Irving, the Nets will receive the 2029 first round pick. Dallas only has one movable second-rounder (2025), assuming the Knicks get the 2023 first.
The Mavericks have a number of moveable contracts to match the cost of fresh players acquired through trades following the season (Bullock, Green). Others could be a little less alluring (Hardaway, McGee).
Irving is reportedly seeking a big contract from whoever he goes with, which many teams may not be prepared to do since they either can’t due to cap restrictions or they don’t want to. Depending on the sources cited, Irving will remain in Dallas.