Dallas is 9-16 since the blockbuster Kyrie Irving trade but they are still committed to re-signing the guard next season, according to Chris Haynes.
“Irving is eligible for an extension, but he will instead allow his future to be decided in free agency this summer, sources said,” Haynes wrote.
“Going into the offseason, the Mavericks intend to surround Luka Doncic and—optimistically—Irving with versatile wing defenders and rim protectors to improve a defense that has been subpar.”
Doncic has voiced his frustrations more and more recently and following a loss to Miami on Saturday he pointed the blame squarely at Dallas’ defense.
“It’s every time the same problem,” Doncic said. “The offense is fine. But if we give up 130 points in four quarters, that’s hard to win.”
Their current defensive rating (115.9) puts them in the bottom eight worst ratings in the league, so if they do plan on resigning Irving, bolstering their defense should definitely be a priority.
When Doncic was asked how the season has played out compared to how he thought, he said: “Way different. I thought we were going to be up there. But we obviously aren’t, so it’s way different than I thought.”
The Mavs sit in 11th place in the West with a 37-42 record, a game behind OKC for the final play-in spot.
Watching Dallas transition from a playoffs team to a potential lottery-bound team has certainly been disappointing, so it will be interesting to see how the front office responds over the summer.