Former NBA executive John Hollinger believes things could get worse for the Dallas Mavericks with guard Kyrie Irving potentially having his eye on Los Angeles this coming offseason.
The Mavericks and Los Angeles Lakers both wanted Irving at the trade deadline, but Dallas ended up landing the All-Star guard in a trade with the Brooklyn Nets. However, Hollinger believes that he could explore coming to Los Angeles this offseason.
“Keep an eye on this situation,” Hollinger wrote. “Between Irving’s wandering eye for L.A. this summer, the potential of Luka Doncic’s frustration boiling over and [Jason] Kidd’s history of things ending badly when they end, this could get a lot worse before it gets better.”
Dallas traded for Irving to give more help to Doncic, but it hasn’t exactly played out the way that the Mavericks would have liked. The team has struggled on the defensive end, allowing over 110 points in seven straight games.
Back-to-back losses have pushed Dallas into the No. 7 seed in the Western Conference, and the team is in a tough spot with so many teams in the West fighting for the final playoff spots.
Irving has played well in seven games for Dallas, averaging 24.7 points, 5.1 rebounds and 6.9 assists per game while shooting 49.2 percent from the field. However, he controls his future after this season since he is an unrestricted free agent.
The Lakers made moves for D’Angelo Russell, Malik Beasley, Jarred Vanderbilt, Mo Bamba and Rui Hachimura at the trade deadline, but they could move things around in the offseason to add Irving to a roster that already has Anthony Davis and LeBron James under contract.
That’s a nightmare scenario for Dallas, as the team traded multiple rotation players for Irving, and it could lose him for nothing in the offseason. If Irving does decide to pursue a future with the Lakers, Dallas could hope for a sign-and-trade move to get something in return for the All-Star guard.
The key is Doncic, who is one of the league’s best players, as the Mavericks don’t want to anger him or make him want to leave the franchise.
A postseason run could alleviate some of those concerns, but Dallas could face a tough matchup if it ends up in the league’s play-in tournament.
Last season, the Mavericks made the Western Conference Finals, but they look like they have taken a step back so far this season.