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Lakers' Free Agency Plans 'Likely' to Help Mavs Keep Kyrie Irving, Says NBA Insider

With the potential help of the Los Angeles Lakers' alternative plans, Kyrie Irving is "likely" to remain with the Dallas Mavericks beyond the 2022-23 season.

DENVER — Among the top stories surrounding the Dallas Mavericks entering the All-Star break is the impending free agency of Kyrie Irving. He was recently traded to the Mavs to form a dynamic duo with fellow All-Star starter Luka Doncic. 

Ahead of the midseason trade deadline, Irving was traded from the Brooklyn Nets in exchange for Spencer Dinwiddie, Dorian Finney-Smith, a 2029 first-round pick, and multiple second-round picks. The cost to acquire Irving was quite low for the Mavs given he is playing on an expiring $36.5 million salary. 

During a recent appearance on ESPN's "Get Up" show, NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski explained that Irving is "more than likely to" stay with the Mavs beyond when his contract expires and the Los Angeles Lakers' alternative plans only help. 

“More likely than not that Kyrie stays in Dallas and gets the money he wants. The Lakers traded for D’Angelo Russell with the idea that they want to move forward with him as their point guard and sign him to an extension.”

Irving recently told local media in Dallas not to ask him questions about his long-term plans out of respect for everybody involved. Doing so, he feels, puts "unwarranted distractions" on the team as the team gears up for a playoff run. 

"I would love to — just out of respect of you guys and everybody else the rest of this season continuously asking me that, it just puts unwarranted distractions on us and our team," Irving said. "I've dealt with it before and it's very emotionally draining to ask questions, 'what's the long-term?' ... I will say that from the start, it's been nothing but a warm embrace, genuine love, and a familiarity of relationships I can lean into..."

Given that Irving is playing in the final year of his contract, there has been some corners that view the trade to acquire him as a significant risk as a result. Mavs general manager Nico Harrison doesn't see it the same way. He told reporters that he sees the risk in not making the move. 

"I don't see any risk involved. I've known Kyrie for a long time," Harrison said. "I know what kind of person he is. Anybody who's ever watched him play basketball knows what kind of basketball player he is. I don't see the risk involved. I actually see the risk in not doing it." 

Irving has appeared in four games as a member of the Mavs, and has averaged 28.2 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 7.0 assists. He's doing so while shooting 53.3 percent from the floor and 42.9 percent from 3-point range, while still remaining perfect on free throws.

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