Though the NBA Finals is the main focus around the league right now, that doesn't stop the rumor mill from churning with free agency set to begin on June 30. As is the case with every NBA free agency period, rumors and reports about specific players and teams will begin to come in at a rapid pace, and though we're still a couple weeks from it picking up steam, we're already out to a hot start with this latest rumor. According to Shams Charania, Kyrie Irving has reached out to LeBron James to gauge his interest in potentially playing for the Dallas Mavericks.
Rumors are just rumors, but this is a significant one, and if it did happen it would cause waves around the league. Irving is an unrestricted free agent this summer, and he's been linked to the Los Angeles Lakers as well as re-signing with the Mavericks. However, from the sounds of that rumor it appears as though Irving wants the best of both worlds by remaining in Dallas and playing with his former teammate and friend in LeBron.
Irving and James won a championship together in 2016 with the Cleveland Cavaliers, and despite an unceremonious breakup, which resulted in Irving requesting a trade to the Boston Celtics, there have been reports of their interest in playing together again. When Irving requested a trade from the Brooklyn Nets earlier this season, the Lakers were reportedly looking to acquire the All-Star guard, but the Mavericks swooped in with a better offer.
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But with Irving hitting the open market this summer as a free agent, the possibility of them playing together again could be in the cards, though them teaming up in Dallas would be far more difficult to pull off.
LeBron is under contract with the Lakers for the upcoming 2023-24 season, and will have a player option he can opt out of next summer. So if Irving did want to play with James in Dallas it would have to happen via trade, something that Irving reportedly wants the Mavericks to explore in order to form a Big Three with him and Luka Doncic, per Bleacher Report's Chris Haynes. The Mavericks would have to unload a lot in order to take on James' estimated $46.9 million salary for next season, so it would be an incredibly difficult move to pull off.
While it would be hard to make happen, if Dallas miraculously figured out how to make that work, it would certainly help this team make it back to the postseason after a disappointing year in which they missed the playoffs. After making it to the Western Conference finals a season ago, the Mavericks completely fell apart following their trade to acquire Irving. While Irving and Doncic put up their usual numbers, it was obvious that the roster needed a major overhaul in talent. If they managed to land James that would certainly fix that issue. This also wouldn't be the first time Dallas was interested in acquiring LeBron, as Haynes reports the team was preparing a trade offer to get him last season when L.A. was struggling.
Given the hurdles that Dallas would have to clear in order to make this happen, it seems unlikely for now that LeBron ends up on the Mavericks with Irving and Doncic. However, Denver Nuggets last month, anything is possible.following L.A.'s second-round loss to the