The Mavs had a terrible end to the regular season after failing to make the play-in or playoffs and despite a rocky tenure, they are still keen to secure Kyrie Irving’s services for next season.
While Dallas had two of the game’s superstars in Luka Doncic and Irving on the floor, the team had a 5-11 record and at times the pair looked very clunky.
“I think when we have that talented of a player — that talented of two players — I think they work together,” Mavs GM Nico Harrison said. “I really think it’s the players around them … kind of knowing their role with having those two guys out on the floor at the same time. I think that’s the thing that we need to work on.”
Doncic and Dallas owner Mark Cuban have both publicly expressed their desire for the team to re-sign the veteran guard Irving.
But many fans have pointed blame at the very same man for the destruction of Dallas’ season, which wasn’t helped by the loss of two solid players in Spencer Dinwiddie and Dorian Finney-Smith in the Irving trade.
Harrison expressed optimism about the team re-signing Irving after the eight-time All-Star’s exit interview with the franchise.
“I think the things that he said along the way about how he feels here, how he feels appreciated, how he feels accepted and allowed to be himself — those are the things that he said kind of consistently,” Harrison said Tuesday, a day after meeting with Irving. “That’s what gives me the optimism that he wants to be here.”
The team went 7-18 after the Irving trade (granted he didn’t play some of those games) and they fell from fourth in the West to 11th and out of the play-in scenario.
Irving himself has yet to comment on his plans for the future and at the end of their last game he wasn’t made available to speak to the media, which has only added to speculation.
However, Irving is eligible to sign for as much as $272 million over five years with the Mavs – who have his Bird rights as he enters free agency.
The 31-year-old could instead make around $202 million for four years with another team, so he definitely has a big decision to make this summer.