Kyrie Irving: Mavs Were No. 1 on Free Agency Wish List

It didn’t take Kyrie Irving long to re-up with the Mavericks after the season. He did it as soon as free agency hit in July.Kyrie Irving

“It wasn’t too difficult of a process,” Irving told reporters of his decision to return to the Mavs, via Brad Townsend of the Dallas Morning News. “I had Dallas as No. 1 on my list. Obviously, I looked elsewhere — salary cap, opportunities, where I could fit in. 

“But there wasn’t just much space, and me being 31 now, I had to have a different vantage point. I felt like I could not just settle here, but be happy to come back here and be welcomed back with a warm embrace.”

Irving is entering his first full season with the Mavericks, who acquired him from the Nets in February. The idea was to team him with fellow star Luka Doncic and really go places. If that’s the goal, the first half-season was a bust. Dallas didn’t even qualify for the play-in tournament.

But maybe things will be different this year.

“Even when I got traded here midseason my family was excited,” Irving said. “They were just looking forward to me having peace of mind, on the court and off the court. I’d already dealt with enough the past season, or the past two seasons. 

“They knew I just wanted a lot of that off my back and off my shoulders, that feeling like I had to be Superman, I had to be perfect. The last few years (I’ve been) just figuring myself out, so this is the best place to do it, to continue to grow and mature as a man.”

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