Dallas Mavericks pending free agent, Kyrie Irving, is making his pitch to reunite with Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James. This was first reported by The Athletic’s Sham Charania, followed by Bleacher Report’s Chris Haynes.
Sources: Kyrie Irving has reached out to Lakers star LeBron James in attempts to see if James would come to Dallas. Irving is a free agent this offseason.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 5, 2023
Another shocking turn of events has surrounded the polarizing star in Kyrie Irving. This, along with him tied to the Lakers last summer, the trade deadline to Dallas, and now a revisit to this possibility.
Haynes added that the Mavericks were preparing to make an offer for James when the Lakers were “spiraling,” but did not happen due to LA’s trade moves to improve the team.
However, due to James’ contract extension, he was not trade eligible.
B/R Sources: Kyrie Irving desires for Mavericks to explore acquiring Lakers star LeBron James to form a Big 3 with Luka Doncic: https://t.co/P7snQxgVs5
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) June 5, 2023
LeBron has $46 million next season and a $50 million player option for the 2024-25 season. Realistically, it is hard to find a valuable and intriguing package coming back from Dallas, especially worth the value of James.
It’s no secret that these two stars want to play together again. For Dallas and LA, it’s hard to make those desires come true, at least in the immediate future. Irving to LA hypothetically could happen with a double sign and trade with D’Angelo Russell, but it’s reported that the Mavs are not interested in Russell.
Some names that would be involved in a Dallas/LA trade package would be Tim Hardaway Jr. ($17 million), Davis Bertans ($17 million), and Maxi Kleber ($11 million). Arguably, these aren’t the most intriguing options for Lakers GM Rob Pelinka.
The NBA’s new Collective Bargaining Agreement would give the Mavs a hard cap on their salary. Making a championship roster around Luka Doncic, Irving, and James would be hard.
The issue last season with Dallas was lack of depth and defense following the acquisition of Kyrie. Adding the all-time leading scorer would be great, but at what cost?
According to Haynes, the easiest path for this partnership to happen would be for the four-time champion to get bought out. Would Irving and James both be willing to take a pay cut? Hard to imagine so.
Although the NBA free agency isn’t until June 30th, we are seeing fireworks already.