The latest chapter of Kyrie Irving’s career has not gone according to plan, and no one is more aware of that than the Dallas Mavericks.
The Mavericks traded for Irving in hopes of assembling a contender in the Western Conference. Unfortunately, instead of contending, Dallas is on the verge of missing the postseason entirely.
There has been a lot of speculation about what Irving’s immediate future will hold, as he’s a free agent this offseason. According to a report, the Mavericks’ plan is still to re-sign him, while Irving’s plan is to “allow his future to be decided in free agency.”
“Despite the Dallas Mavericks’ struggles since acquiring Kyrie Irving, the plan is still to re-sign the star guard, league sources told Bleacher Report,” wrote NBA insider Chris Haynes.
“Irving is eligible for an extension, but he will instead allow his future to be decided in free agency this summer, sources said.”
The Mavericks are still mathematically alive in the postseason race, but their hopes are hanging on by a thread. They have three games remaining and are one game back of the Oklahoma City Thunder for the No. 10 spot. The idea of Dallas closing that gap may sound more attainable than it actually is due to the way the tiebreakers work out in the West.
The squad essentially has no margin for error remaining and realistically needs to finish 3-0 in order to have a fighting chance.
Dallas seems entirely aware of the reality of the situation. According to a report, the team is considering shutting down its star players for the remainder of the season.
Shams reporting that the Mavs are “seriously considering” shutting down Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving.
The Mavs could be tanking their final 3 games for a top 10 pick while the Thunder are trying to win and make the play-in.
— Brandon Rahbar (@BrandonRahbar) April 3, 2023
Irving has averaged 26.7 points, 5.1 rebounds and 5.9 assists per game since joining the Mavs while shooting 51.0 percent from the field and 37.7 percent from deep. Initially, fans expected Irving and fellow guard Luka Doncic to form arguably the best backcourt in the NBA, but the experiment hasn’t yielded that result at all.
If Dallas does bring Irving back, the team will need to take a hard look at why things haven’t worked out this season with the eight-time All-Star. It’s possible that the organization can take measures to put Irving and Doncic in a better position to succeed together.
On the other hand, if Irving signs elsewhere this offseason, it’ll mark his fifth NBA team since he entered the league back in 2011.