Mavs owner Mark Cuban wants to re-sign Kyrie Irving despite late-season stumble: ‘I think we have a good shot’
Kyrie Irving and Luka Dončić have not been great together since Irving landed in Dallas earlier this year
Kyrie Irving’s time in Dallas hasn’t gone how Mark Cuban would've hoped.
But Cuban, speaking ahead of the Dallas Mavericks’ game against the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday, said re-signing Irving this summer is the team’s top priority.
“I want him to say,” he said, via ESPN’s Tim MacMahon.
Irving was traded to Dallas after a tumultuous and controversial stint with the Brooklyn Nets, which included his COVID-19 vaccine saga and eventual suspension after he promoted an antisemitic video on social media.
Dallas is 7-12 in the 19 games Irving has played this season. He has struggled to mesh with star Luka Dončić, though both he and Dončić have been battling minor injuries in the back half of the season. The Mavericks, who were once fourth in the Western Conference, sit 11th and outside the playoffs with just three games left in the regular season.
While it’s not fair to blame Irving alone for the Mavericks’ struggles, it’s easy to understand why fans start there.
Irving is in the final year of a four-year, $136 million deal signed with the Nets. He is eligible for a four-year, $220.6 million deal in free agency this summer, or he could re-sign with the Mavericks for up to $272 million over five years.
Irving hasn’t said whether he wants to stay in Dallas or move on, but he has said he wanted to wait until the season ended to talk about his future. Still, Cuban feels good about his chances of getting Irving on a new deal.
“I think we have a good shot,” he said, via Marc Stein.
As for not making the play-in tournament, Cuban isn’t giving up.
“I haven’t heard the fat lady sing yet,” Cuban said, via the Dallas Morning News’ Brad Townsend.
Cuban blames Jalen Brunson’s dad for his departure
Cuban still isn’t happy with how the team lost Jalen Brunson last offseason, and in his eyes, the blame falls squarely on Brunson’s dad, Rick.
Cuban said he had a great relationship with Brunson and his representatives when he was on the team. The problems started, he said, when Rick took over contract negotiations.
“Things went south when the parents got involved,” he said, via ESPN’s Tim MacMahon.
Brunson left Dallas in free agency last summer and signed a four-year, $104 million deal with the New York Knicks after spending his first four seasons in the league with the Mavericks.
Brunson was scheduled to meet with a handful of teams when the legal period began, but he ended up meeting with only the Knicks. The team didn’t allow media to attend his introductory news conference, either.
The league later opened an investigation into the deal. Rick is an assistant coach with the Knicks, and Knicks general manager Leon Rose negotiated Brunson’s rookie deal with the Mavericks.
The NBA said in December that the Knicks “violated league rules” in their deal to land Brunson, and the league took away a 2025 second-round draft pick as a result.
Cuban said he never spoke with the league about the investigation into Brunson’s departure. He also showed the Dallas Morning News’ Brad Townsend text messages that apparently “support his assertions about how Brunson’s departure went down.”
Cuban showed the DMN text messages from Brunson’s representatives to support his assertions about how Brunson’s departure went down.
— Brad Townsend (@townbrad) April 5, 2023
Brunson, now in his fifth season, has averaged a career-high 24 points and 6.2 assists per game with the Knicks. He put up 16.3 points and 4.8 rebounds last season in Dallas and was instrumental in the team’s run to the Western Conference finals.