Mark Cuban and the Dallas Mavericks opted for a gamble Sunday when the organization acquired talented-yet-controversial guard Kyrie Irving from the Brooklyn Nets.
The eight-time NBA All-Star and three-time All-NBA honoree brings an on-court skill set that will make him and now Mavericks teammate Luka Doncic one of the league’s most feared offensive tandems. However, Irving’s tumultuous past also makes him a flight risk at every turn. Add in the fact the 30-year-old Irving is set to hit free agency after the 2022-23 campaign and it makes Dallas’ decision all the more questionable.
Well, the Mavericks seem content in taking that chance. And a report from ESPN’s NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski on Sunday afternoon painted that picture as clear as possible.
“Mavs can see how it goes and decide on new deal in offseason,” Wojnarowski tweeted, referencing the partnership of Doncic and Irving, who is in the last year of his four-year, $136.5 million contract.
Wojnarowski’s reporting indicates the Mavericks didn’t sign Irving to any long-term extension prior to making the trade. Instead, the Mavs sent guard Spencer Dinwiddie, forward Dorian Finney-Smith, a 2029 first-round pick as well as second-round picks in 2027 and 2029, as first reported by The Athletic’s Shams Charania, to Brooklyn.
Given the term on both Dinwiddie’s contract and Finney-Smith’s contract, in addition to the level Dinwiddie played this season and the future assets, it’s no small price to pay for someone on an expiring contract. It could prove to be merely a half-season rental of Irving.
Then again, it’s understandable from an on-court perspective why Cuban and company would want to do it. Doncic has not played with anyone of Irving’s ilk on the court and Dallas needed to give its franchise cornerstone some help.
Perhaps Chris Haynes’ report about Irving being “ecstatic” about joining the Mavericks and looking forward to teaming up with Doncic will help Dallas fans as they process their new reality. But as fans in Cleveland, Boston and now Brooklyn have learned, Irving’s words should be taken with a pound of salt.
The Mavericks beat out the Los Angeles Lakers in their pursuit of Irving, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.