Luka Doncic played a significant role in the Dallas Mavericks’ trade for Kyrie Irving, according to a report from ESPN’s Tim MacMahon and Brian Windhorst.
Doncic privately urged the front office to bring in another All-Star-level player to help the team compete for a championship, as he was growing frustrated with the team’s underwhelming performances throughout the season.
This desire for change was not a surprise, as MacMahon had reported on January 18 that the Mavs star had expressed a strong desire for the team to improve its roster. Although Dallas has spent most of the season above .500, they have not been able to score significantly above the break-even mark.
Additionally, the fact that Jalen Brunson, who left Dallas in free agency last summer to join the New York Knicks, is performing exceptionally well in New York likely compounded Doncic’s dissatisfaction.
The acquisition of Irving has undoubtedly made the Mavericks a more formidable team, at least offensively, but it also comes with significant risks. Irving was suspended by the Nets in November for sharing a film considered by many to be antisemitic and has butted heads at every team he’s played for.
He is also set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer, meaning Dallas could lose him for nothing and would have traded numerous assets for just a few months of Kyrie.
The Mavericks are currently seventh in the Western Conference with a record of 33-32.