Kyrie Irving and the Brooklyn Nets find themselves in something of a stalemate at the moment.
After last season, one that saw Irving play in just 29 total games, Brooklyn is hesitant about rewarding him with a long-term contract extension.
Irving, meanwhile, has a one-year player option for $36.5 million left on his deal.
Because neither side can agree on what the future holds, trade talk have started to bubble up. The Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat, Los Angeles Clippers and New York Knicks have all been mentioned as potential suitors. The Lakers, in particular, seem like the favorites after Irving and LeBron James’ recent secret meetings.
That said, a surprising new contender has quietly emerged over the past 24 hours.
According to Ric Bucher of Fox Sports, the Dallas Mavericks are also a team to watch for Irving.
“With Luka [Doncic], Kyrie doesn’t have to be your best player,” a rival GM told Bucher. “He doesn’t have to lead. But they do need a second scorer, and he can do that.” He also noted that Irving has what was described as a “strong relationship” with Mavs General Manager Nico Harrison.
Beyond that, it was suggested that because Irving’s dynamic with Nets coach Steve Nash isn’t in the best place, he may respond better to Mavs coach Jason Kidd.
“Kidd has a championship to his credit — as does Irving — while Nash does not,” the logic went.
With two teams actively working to steal Jalen Brunson from Dallas, Irving could come in and serve as a score-first option alongside Doncic.
A lot of what happens next will depend on Kevin Durant. He has final decision-making power on Irving. The Nets are terrified to lose him, so they will do whatever he says – even if it means giving Irving the sort of deal the franchise doesn’t actually want to give him.
— Game 7 (@game7__) June 23, 2022
But if Durant opts to stay out of it, as he has up to this point, that could free someone like Dallas up to make a move.
Will the Mavericks swoop in and pull off the blockbuster trade of the year by nabbing Irving?
Time will tell.