Since the Dallas Mavericks no longer have Jalen Brunson, who could they acquire to adequately replace his production? The easiest answer might be Brooklyn Nets star point guard Kyrie Irving.
According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, the Mavs are looking into the possibility.
"Kyrie Irving has several suitors involved Lakers, Sixers and Mavericks, keep an eye out in the next couple of weeks," said Charania.
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.
Charania also mentioned the Los Angeles Lakers and Philadelphia 76ers as the other two suitors engaged with the Nets on Irving trade talks. Although Irving's trade value is perceived as being low right now, this might come down to which team is desperate enough to give up future draft capital for him. If that's the case, one has to think the Lakers could have the upper hand in these discussions, as they could trade Russell Westbrook, who is also on an expiring contract, as well as their 2027 first-round pick.
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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?
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. If Irving comes into next season with the right mindset in a contract year, the Mavs' ceiling would be much higher with him than it was with Brunson. Given that Kevin Durant has officially requested a trade from the Nets, it seems that Irving's exit from Brooklyn is a matter of 'when,' not 'if.'
You can follow Dalton Trigg on Twitter at @dalton_trigg
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