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Jalen Brunson Aftermath: Should Mavs Trade for Kyrie Irving?

The Kevin Durant sweepstakes could be the first domino to fall that sets off other moves around the league.

The Dallas Mavericks are in a tough situation after Jalen Brunson decided to sign with the New York Knicks in free agency. With no cap space to operate with on the open market, as well as being a team that’s currently far enough into the luxury tax to prevent them from doing sign-and-trades, the only means for roster improvements are straight-up trades and veteran minimum contracts.

For a team that just lost its second-best player for nothing while having little flexibility to replace that production, wouldn't a trade for Brooklyn Nets polarizing star point guard Kyrie Irving make some sense?

Since Irving opted into his $36 million player option for the 2022-23 seasons, that makes it a lot easier for the Mavs to work out a deal with the Nets since it wouldn't have to be a sign-and-trade. Dallas would simply have to match Irving's salary with some combination of players these players: Tim Hardaway Jr., Dāvis Bertans, Spencer Dinwiddie or Dwight Powell.

Dinwiddie might not be included on that list given how effective he was for the Mavs last season after coming over from Washington. However, if the Mavs could take Irving off the Nets' hands for a package consisting of Tim Hardaway Jr., Davis Bertans and a second round pick or two, one would have to think that would make the risk worth the potential reward for Dallas.

Despite the baggage Irving would bring with him, he's still a super-talented basketball player with championship experience – he won a title with LeBron James, and Mavs star Luka Doncic plays a very similar style of basketball to James, so who's to say it couldn't potentially work in Dallas?

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Irving averaged 27.4 points, 4.4 rebounds, 5.8 assists and 1.4 steals for the Nets last season while shooting 46.9 percent from the field, including 41.8 percent from deep ... albeit, that only came in 29 regular-season games due to Irving not being to play in most Brooklyn home games due to not being vaccinated for COVID-19.

Regardless, taking a swing on Irving is exactly the kind of move a team like the Mavs should make given the circumstances. With Kevin Durant officially requesting a trade from the Nets, it's only a matter of time before something happens with Irving as well.

You can follow Dalton Trigg on Twitter at @dalton_trigg

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