Mavericks point guard Kyrie Irving wants to Mavericks to explore a trade for Lakers star LeBron James, giving Dallas a Big Three of Irving, James and Luka Doncic, per Chris Haynes of Bleacher Report/TNT.
Irving is set to become an unrestricted free agent and has been linked to LA. But mostly, he’s been linked to James. But by most accounts, Irving intends to return to Mavericks — given that they can offer him the largest contract.
So instead of going to Los Angeles to play with James, Irving seems to be thinking that James could come to him. Sources have told Hoops Wire that playing for the Lakers has never been a dream for Irving.
Mavs owner Mark Cuban and GM Nico Harrison were preparing an offer for the Lakers at the February trade deadline, but the Lakers’ flurry of deals with other teams halted the idea, per Haynes.
Irving attended several Lakers playoff games in LA, creating more chatter about his desire to play with James. The two were teammates during the Cavaliers’ championship run during the 2016 NBA season. A year later, it was believed that Irving no longer wanted to play alongside James and therefore, demanded a trade.
But that was seven years ago, and the two have since ironed out any differences. Now, sources said, they long to play together again.
As an aside, James hinted at retirement after the season, saying “I have a lot to think about” in regard to his future. The Lakers were swept by the Nuggets in the Western Conference finals, while Irving, Doncic and the Mavs failed to make the playoffs.
Whether Dallas has the assets to make a serious run at James, without surrendering Irving or Doncic, is another matter. But if there is one thing we’ve learned, it’s that anything is possible in today’s NBA, and Irving and James have a history of being able to navigate their way to new teams.
Irving has now played for the Cavs, Celtics, Nets and Mavs. James left the Cavs for the Heat in 2010, returned in 2014, then left again for the Lakers in 2018.