According to ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne, All-Star Dallas Mavericks free agent guard Kyrie Irving intends to meet with other teams during free agency. He’s still widely expect to re-sign with the Dallas Mavericks, but he’s using whatever leverage he can generate as he seeks his next contract.
Irving played 20 games with the Dallas Mavericks last season after he was acquired to kick off the NBA trade deadline. Prior to the trade, he’d engaged in contract talks with the Brooklyn Nets, but felt disrespected by the process. During his stint with Dallas, Irving played fantastic offensive basketball, scoring 27 points per game on high efficiency while also dishing out six assists and pulling down five rebounds. Despite television talking head chatter that indicated otherwise, he and Luka Doncic played brilliant basketball together. The Mavericks simply couldn’t play defense.
Mavs G Kyrie Irving intends to take free agency meetings according ESPN’s @ramonashelburne and Kyrie is looking for a place to spend the rest of his career and call home…#MFFL pic.twitter.com/AOJuw99WhV— Kevin Gray Jr. (@KevinGraySports) June 28, 2023
According to Shelburne, Irving, “wants to find a place where he can spend the rest of his career as a place that feels like home”. She said that it’s expected as of now that Irving return to Dallas, but that he wants a max contact and is creating the leverage to insist upon it. “What happens with these meetings that he intends to take when free agency opens is going to be very interesting,” Shelburne said, a phrase which may cause Dallas fans to hold their collective breath.
There are a few teams with the cap space to sign Irving and the one with the most are the Houston Rockets, a team mentioned by Marc Stein earlier this summer as a potential landing spot. There’s been nothing in the rumor mill since.
While the Mavericks can offer Irving a five-year max worth as much as $270 million, it’s been long assumed that a four-year max at $213 million is what could be the position both parties end up agreeing on. CBAMavs detailed that contract and what the books might look like earlier this summer.
This revelation is a bit frustrating for Dallas fans to hear, despite it being well within the rights of a free agent like Irving. After a stellar draft period and the recently revealed news about a potential trade for Phoenix Sun Deandre Ayton, the Dallas Mavericks are attempting to revamp their roster after an extremely disappointing season. Trading for Kyrie Irving last year came with a built-in risk that he might leave during Free Agency, but he’s indicated that he’s enjoyed his time with the franchise. But as an aging smaller guard going for his last major contract, it makes sense that he’d want as much guaranteed money as possible, particularly after his rocky stint as a Brooklyn Net.
Hopefully, the Mavericks and Irving can come to an agreement (or not) quickly, so that Dallas may get on with enacting the rest of their off-season plans.