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Roundtable: Reacting to the Kyrie Irving-LeBron James-Dallas Mavericks rumors

Moneyball staff reacts to the LeBron James to Dallas recruitment rumors

2023 NBA All-Star - NBA All-Star Game Photo by Tyler Kaufman/NBAE via Getty Images

When NBA news is slow, it is SLOOOOW. So it came as a shock to our staff when various national reporters tweeted out news that Kyre Irving had reached out to LeBron James about coming to the Dallas Mavericks. Our staff had thoughts the moments that news broke.

Doyle: Chaos reigns!

Matt: Look... if you can add LeBron James you do it, but also... can we please just do normal team building? Please? Can we just try it to see how it feels? Just make a good selection with the 10th pick?

Jordan: Good God almighty.

David: My immediate reaction was if this is in any way possible, the Mavs need to figure out how. This would almost certainly bankrupt the Mavericks’ future but I simply do not care. The reasons you do this far outweigh the impending doom. From the fans’ perspective, this would be the most fun season ever. Lebron and Luka are two of the most popular players and Kyrie is electric to watch, not to mention the drama off the court constantly. From Dallas’ organizational perspective, they have all the incentives to make this happen. They could use this to cover up the many blunders they have made recently by just having Lebron to focus on all day every day. This would be like if Dirk unveiled a new statue in a different Dallas suburb every day, but times 100. I have been hard-pressed about not giving up assets for non-building pieces, but I will tear my roots up if I could have one to two seasons of this big three. If the Mavericks have the chance to actually make this happen, I’m in.

Brent: Kyrie is taking the veteran minimum to help facilitate this and other championship-caliber roster moves, right? (deadpan stare)

Kirk: Is this even possible? I don’t think it’s realistic in any way. At the moment, I don’t care though. It’s fun to consider. Do it.

Gracie: I love the idea in theory but I am not a fan of paying three guys all of your money. This team needs depth!

Matthew: The Dallas Mavericks do not have enough assets to overpay for Lebron James. Given that, any possible trade for the king is a win. Throw in the possibility of Luka Doncic learning from the effort and care that James puts into taking care of his body and this trade is an absolute home run if it is at all possible.

Jack: No more half-measures. I’m not sure how trading for LeBron James would even be possible. But if it’s doable, the Mavericks should do it. Lots of people would wonder if LeCircus is worth the potential benefits, but I’m here to tell you that it’s a chance worth taking. Dallas has very limited assets and it’s hard to envision a path toward championship contention unfurling this offseason. If they could somehow pull off a trade for the greatest basketball player of all time, it would give them a lifeline and place them firmly in the mix for their ultimate goal. Plus, think of the content!

Clint: My initial reaction is that there’s no way this actually happens. But, it gives us something really fun to think about for the next couple of weeks, so that’s cool.

The Mavericks have proven to us for years that they simply are not going to build a team in a patient, normal way. People have said that if we added Lebron it would just be him, Luka and Kyrie surrounded by scrubs. So how is that different than what the Mavericks have been rolling out since they’ve had Luka?

Josh: Rationally, it would be pretty absurd to go this route, tying the future of your franchise, your 24-year-old mega star, to a 31 and 38-year-old duo. Any type of trade that brings LeBron to Dallas would absolutely cripple the rest of the roster, forcing the Mavericks to fill in the gaps with veteran minimum deals. Presumably any young talent past Luka, like Jaden Hardy, Josh Green, and the 10th pick, would be gone. Dallas would basically shorten its window with Luka to a couple of seasons, which feels ridiculous when Luka isn’t even 25 yet. It could work, but it would be the type of gamble that seems unfoolish, a front office trying to paper over years of mismanagement with ‘wow’ moves to distract from proper criticism.

On the other hand, it would be fun as hell. LeBron is Luka’s basketball idol, and it was clear LeBron wanted to take a step back during the Lakers playoff run. His usage, shots, touches, all seemed to dip as he relied on Anthony Davis, Austin Reeves and the supporting cast to carry the team through some stretches so he can conserve energy. So imagine that version of LeBron next to Luka, who has no problem absorbing the majority of the team’s touches. Even if it doesn’t work, it would be a hell of a lot more interesting than the stagnant Mavericks roster of the last five years. It could blow up in a giant fireball, but an explosion is more fun to watch than a candle wick slowly dying out.