The Dallas Mavericks made a major splash in trading for Kyrie Irving Sunday afternoon. Dallas sent Dorian Finney-Smith, Spencer Dinwiddie, a 2029 first-round pick and two future second-round picks to the Brooklyn Nets in exchange for Irving and Markieff Morris. Irving requested a trade from the Nets just a few days ago after he couldn't agree to a contract extension with the team, an issue that dated back to last summer when he was seeking a max contract extension from the Nets.
Ultimately, Irving got his wish in getting sent somewhere else, but in terms of getting that max extension, it might not come from the Mavericks. Though Dallas gave up quite a bit to land Irving, who will be an unrestricted free agent this summer, the Mavericks have not promised Irving a new contract, per Marc Stein. Dallas plans on watching the season play out before discussing a new contract with Irving, a smart decision to see how the Irving-Luka Doncic pairing works. But if they can't come to a new contract with Irving, then they just gave up two key role players and several draft picks for a two-month rental.
That sounds like a bleak outlook for the Mavericks, but the one silver lining is that if they don't re-sign Irving this summer they'll have near max cap space to try and find Luka Doncic a better co-star. If that's the route the Mavericks take, they'll have to hope Doncic is a big enough draw for other top players to come to Dallas. While the 23-year-old guard's talent is undeniable, Dallas has a well-chronicled history of swinging and missing on several big name free agents dating back to Dirk Nowitzki's time with the franchise.
It's a pretty risky gameplan for a front office that has struggled to adequately build a championship-contending roster around Doncic. But with the rate star players are requesting trades in this league, franchises are on extremely short timelines to prove they can build a contender. We'll have to wait and see how this works out for the Mavericks, but if they don't end up with a significantly better roster at the start of next season after all of this, then this Irving deal will look even worse -- and could spell disaster for Doncic's tenure with Dallas.