Since then, the Mavericks have gone 7-9 in the games that Irving has appeared in. They are currently battling for their postseason lives, and it’s not looking good. If the regular season ended today, the Mavs would be on the outside looking in.
According to former NBA player Matt Barnes, Irving’s track record of issues with teams doesn’t bode well for what is currently going on with the Mavs.
“Is it a coincidence that every time he goes to a team there’s dysfunction?” he asked. “… It just seems like everywhere Kyrie goes, there is an issue. Now that could be a coincidence, or it could be that Kyrie is the issue. Again, as great a talent he is, a top-five talent no doubt, but just seems like every time he makes a pit stop, s— gets f—– up. … It’s not hard to draw that kind of conclusion.”
At the time the trade for Irving was made, it was hard to imagine that the Mavericks were going to struggle as much as they have. After all, Irving and Luka Doncic are two of the most gifted offensive players in the NBA.
From a statistical standpoint, Irving has been as good as advertised for the Mavs. In 16 games, he’s averaged 26.3 points, 5.9 assists and 5.1 rebounds per game.
Still, the lack of success that the team has enjoyed with Irving on the court cannot be ignored. It’s 3-7 in its last 10 games. The four teams in the West currently projected to compete in the play-in tournament are either at or above .500 over their last 10 games.
The Mavs have six games left on their schedule. Three of those games will come against opponents that are also fighting for play-in tournament spots.
That is going to require Irving and Doncic to be as locked in as possible. If there is trouble brewing beneath the surface between the two stars, then achieving that goal is going to be especially difficult.
In the end, the Mavs may find themselves in a really tough spot this offseason. They traded a lot of assets to land Irving, and the one-time NBA champ is now up for a contract extension.
If the team’s front office doesn’t feel good about the partnership between Irving and Doncic, it might have to make the tough decision to let Irving walk this summer. If that were to happen, it’s likely that many fans and experts alike would consider the Irving deal to be one of the worst trades in recent NBA history.