Mavs Don’t Plan To Offer Irving In-Season Extension

Kyrie Irving demanded a trade when he couldn’t reach an extension agreement with the Nets. Some may assume the Mavericks, who agreed to acquire Irving on Sunday, have given the temperamental star guard some assurances that they’d sign him beyond this season.

That would be a false assumption, according to Marc Stein in his latest Substack post. League sources told Stein that Dallas has not promised Irving a new contract, since the team wants to see how Irving will mesh with franchise player Luka Doncic before making a long-term commitment.

It’s an obvious risk for the Mavericks to take that approach, even though The Athletic reported that Irving now prefers to head into unrestricted free agency with the hope that his new team, which also gains his Bird rights, will sign him to a four-year, $198MM maximum salary deal.

Dallas is counting on Irving’s relationships with coach Jason Kidd and president of basketball operations Nico Harrison, a former Nike executive, to facilitate a fruitful partnership. The Mavericks are also looking to make other moves with the aim of making a serious run at the title this season.

If the Irving gamble doesn’t pan out for Dallas, the club would have to strike gold in free agency to minimize the trade’s impact. The Mavs are giving up two solid rotation players in Spencer Dinwiddie and Dorian Finney-Smith, an unprotected 2029 first-round pick, a 2027 second-round pick, and a 2029 second-round pick. The Nets threw forward Markieff Morris into the deal.

Stein also offers up some other interesting tidbits:

  • The Mavericks initially attempted to send the Nets Christian Wood‘s expiring contract or one of their two burdensome long-term contracts — Tim Hardaway Jr. and Dāvis Bertāns. Wood, who is headed to free agency unless he signs an extension, could still be moved before the trade deadline.
  • A source suggests to Stein that one of the presumed objectives of Nets owner Joe Tsai was to not trade Irving to the Lakers — his preferred destination.
  • Doncic signed off on the deal, not only because he was intrigued by the prospects of playing with another star but also because he’ll no longer have to shoulder the offensive load.
  • As Stein previously reported, the Clippers have shown some interest in Wood, along with Timberwolves point guard D’Angelo Russell, who is also on an expiring contract.
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