At this stage, Dallas may be the only team interested in signing free agent Kyrie Irving over the summer, according to NBA Insider Marc Stein.
There have been raging rumors of Kyrie reuniting with LeBron at the Lakers or teaming up with his old Nets buddy Kevin Durant at Phoenix.
But since the Suns orchestrated a Bradley Beal trade and the Lakers may be angling to sign Chris Paul, these possibilities are getting less likely.
“League sources say that these developments — especially the latter — have reinforced the notion that the Mavericks appear to be the only confirmed bidder for Irving’s services as the opening bell for 2023 NBA Free Agency at 6 PM ET on June 30 draws near,” Stein wrote.
Houston are a team that could make a play for Irving if James Harden remains in Philly, but Stein believes their preference would be Raptors unrestricted free agent Fred VanVleet.
“What could change that landscape?,” Stein said. “As I reported here June 11, Houston is expected to weigh a run at Irving if James Harden resists the Rockets’ overtures and the lure of a return to his adopted favorite city by electing to re-sign with the Philadelphia 76ers. Remember: Weigh means consider. It was also conveyed to me this weekend that Irving, at best, would rank as the Rockets’ No. 3 choice among lead guards available in free agency if Houston decided to take its interest beyond the mere consideration phase — behind both Harden and Toronto’s Fred VanVleet.”
In an interesting development, Phoenix reached out to the Mavs about a Kyrie trade before the Beal trade occurred, according to SNY’s Ian Begley.
“The Suns were among the teams to reach out to Dallas about a potential sign-and-trade for Irving earlier in the offseason, per sources familiar with the matter,” Begley wrote. “Dallas, presumably, wasn’t interested in what the Suns offered at the time. If the Mavs were blown away by the offer, logic says that Beal wouldn’t be a Sun today.”
The deal may well have included Chris Paul, since he was a trade piece in the Beal deal. Paul will likely be traded from Washington or sign with another team.
Irving becomes a free agent on June 30 so all eyes will be on Dallas to see if they retain one of the most peculiar characters the league has seen, albeit a very talented point guard.
The 31-year-old is eligible for a $272.92 million maximum contract if he re-signs with the Mavericks, which is around $70 million more than any other organization could offer him.