The Dallas Mavericks have already made one big move this offseason by trading for Christian Wood to upgrade their starting center position. Now, with free agency set to begin on Thursday at 5 p.m. central time, the big question for the Mavs is, “What’s next?”
When it comes to Jalen Brunson, there have been conflicting reports about his potential return to Dallas. Some believe a new contract agreement is essentially “a done deal,” while others insist the New York Knicks are a serious threat to steal Brunson, who might be leveraging the situation to get a near-max contract.
If Dallas is hesitant to commit that kind of money to Brunson, perhaps they could take advantage of the Brooklyn Nets’ deteriorating situation with Kyrie Irving, who has yet to either opt-in or out of his $36.5 million option for the 2022-23 season.
According to a new report by the NY Daily News, a resolution to the Irving drama could be coming soon. ...
“Sources: Kyrie Irving has requested and received permission from the Nets to find sign-and-trade offers from other teams. Kevin Durant still hasn't spoken to Nets front office. Russell Westbrook to Brooklyn remains unlikely.”
However, Woj at ESPN followed that report with one of his own that somewhat poured water on the sign-and-trade aspect of Irving’s situation:
“ESPN Sources: Outside of the Lakers, there are currently no known teams planning pursuit of sign-and-trades for Nets G Kyrie Irving. No sign-and-trades can be formally discussed until after 6 PM on Thursday. Brooklyn isn't believed to have interest in available Lakers packages.”
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Woj also recently reported that Kyrie's wish list includes the Lakers, Clippers, Heat, Knicks, Sixers and ... the Mavs.
The Mavs have shown that they can take players with iffy reputations into their culture and change that perception, but any realistic path for Irving coming to Dallas would not be through a sign-and-trade due to CBA restrictions. It could happen, but it’s just not likely since the Mavs would have to jump through more hoops and likely give up more than they’re willing to for a risk like Irving.
The easiest path for Irving to be a Maverick would be for him to opt into his player option for next season with Dallas then trading some combination of contracts — Tim Hardaway Jr., Spencer Dinwiddie, Davis Bertans, Dwight Powell — that match Irving’s $36 million salary.
Given Irving’s elite talent level when available, taking a flyer on him could be worth the risk for Dallas, especially if there’s doubts about being able to re-sign Brunson.
You can follow Dalton Trigg on Twitter at @dalton_trigg
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