Kyrie Irving? I’m sure the Mavericks aren’t that desperate, nor should they be.


Turns out the North Texas heat wasn’t the culprit. Or those extra onions in potato salad. Or the habanero barbecue sauce.

Our bouts of acid reflux this holiday weekend weren’t induced by intolerable weather or cuisine, but rather by persistent reports of “Kyrie Irving” and “Mavericks” in the same sentence.

This diagnosis was confirmed by the fallout from the Mavericks’ latest offseason setback on Sunday, when Goran Dragic, their long-rumored and widely assumed free-agent target, agreed to a one-year deal with Chicago.


The failure of Dallas, or was it a decision? — to convert what amounted to an undisputed layup by signing Luka Doncic’s 36-year-old mentor and fellow Slovenian further fueled speculation that Governor Mark Cuban and GM Nico Harrison have bigger ideas for the sole remaining spot in the team list.

Take Irving, the undeniably skilled but fickle 30-year-old guard from Brooklyn, for example.

Say it isn’t, Nico.

On draft night, June 23, a Mavericks source dismissed any idea Dallas would pursue Irving after Shams Charania of The Athletic reported that the Mavericks were among seven teams Irving would welcome a trade from.

Irving ultimately opted out of the final year of his $36.5 million contract, but teammate Kevin Durant’s trade request just hours before the start of free agency last Thursday has made it almost certain that both he and Irving they will be exchanged.

Charania on Saturday characterized the Lakers, Philadelphia and Dallas as Irving’s suitors. Unfortunately, he was referring to Irving, the player, not the beautiful city adjacent to Dallas.

Irving the player is certainly tempting, with his jaw-dropping handles and three-season Nets averages of 27.1 points, 6.0 assists, 4.7 rebounds and 49% shooting.

The problem is that Irving carries more baggage as a wardrobe presence than Kim Kardashian does on a month-long cruise. His fingerprints are all over Brooklyn’s monumental implosion. His trail of destruction dates back to two contentious seasons in Boston.

He’s hardly the epitome of chemistry and responsibility, the words coach Jason Kidd emphasized on the first day of training camp last September.

Those words were the foundation upon which Harrison, Kidd and the coaching staff built the culture of a Mavericks team that posted the third-best record in the NBA after the New Year and made an amazing run to the Western Conference finals.

Yet this weekend, especially after the Dragic news on Sunday, a notable portion of Mavericks fans on social media have resigned themselves to believing that an Irving season isn’t much of a risk, that the potential upside It far outweighs any negatives.

Look, I get it. Losing Jalen Brunson without compensation hit the Mavericks and MFFL badly.

Year after year of being left standing at the altar by free agents is tough enough. Having one’s own divorce file and running away to the team with whom, in hindsight, it seems that he was engaged in more than just flirting is especially painful.

It’s also apparent that despite the additions of greats Christian Wood and JaVale McGee, Dallas’ offseason thus far is trending behind Golden State, the Clippers, Denver, Minnesota and perhaps New Orleans. What if Durant ends up in Phoenix or San Francisco?

Durant is the magnificent mansion you overpay for with no questions asked, not even an inspection. Irving is the flashy property with all the bells and whistles, but also cracked foundation and mold behind the walls.

Irving is the acquisition of a desperate team, or a desperate and dumb one like the Lakers. The Mavericks with Doncic, 23, coming off the Western Conference finals and needing to upgrade their roster, shouldn’t be desperate.

As questionable as Irving seems to be to the locker room and culture, it’s equally surprising to wonder how Irving and Doncic, who dominate the ball, would fit in the same backcourt.

This is not about the Dragic news on Sunday. It’s understandable why fans and probably Doncic would be disappointed, but in reality, the 36-year-old Dragic wasn’t going to fill Brunson’s void or make Dallas a Western Conference favorite.

The Mavericks would be better served pressing for Cleveland’s restricted free agent Collin Sexton. Or make a calculated bet with TJ Warren. Or even change for Bojan Bogdanovic, 33 years old.

But Kyrie Irving? Excuse me while I enjoy the rest of my vacation, ideally with a slice of apple pie. Fashionable, of course.

Twitter: @Townbrad

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