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Kyrie Irving returns to Mavericks for $126 million over 3 years

The veteran guard eschews the opportunity to explore his options by agreeing to rejoin star Luka Doncic in Dallas.

Kyrie Irving averaged 27.1 points, 5.1 rebounds and 5.5 assists in 60 games with the Mavs and Nets last season.

The Mavericks have avoided a potentially fraught free agency by signing star guard Kyrie Irving to a three-year, $126-million deal.


Irving played 40 games with the Brooklyn Nets last season before being dealt to the Mavericks, where he averaged 27 points, five rebounds and six assists per game in 38.2 minutes per game. Overall, he posted 27.1 ppg, 5.1 rpg and 5.5 apg in 60 games played in 2022-23 with the Mavs and Nets.

While it was undoubtedly a blockbuster trade, Irving’s move to Dallas didn’t help the team much in the standings. The Mavs went 8-12 in the games he played and fell from the No. 6 seed when they traded for him to missing the NBA Playoffs and AT&T Play-In Tournament altogether. He and All-NBA guard Luka Doncic formed a standout tandem in the backcourt on offense, but their deficiencies on defense were just one of many problems that dogged the Mavs in 2022-23.

Before the offseason began, Mavs owner Mark Cuban said keeping Irving was not a “Kyrie or bust” scenario.

“It’s not Kyrie or bust, but we want to keep him,” Cuban said in early April. “I’m done giving ultimatums on players like I did last year.”

He referred to the Mavs losing Doncic’s sidekick Jalen Brunson to the New York Knicks in free agency last summer, when Cuban confidently declared they would be able to keep him because they could pay him more.

TNT and Bleacher Report senior NBA insider Chris Haynes outlines the reported deal Kyrie Irving agreed to with the Mavs.

Irving’s three-plus seasons in Brooklyn were filled with controversy, including him not being able to play many home games because he wouldn’t get vaccinated against COVID-19 and criticism when he tweeted a link to a film containing antisemitic material. Nike ended its relationship with Irving over the tweet.

When he arrived in Dallas, Irving wasn’t much on talking about his future with the team, instead preferring to focus on what he could control on the court.

“I’ve dealt with it before and it’s very emotionally draining to ask questions about what’s the long term,” Irving said in February. “What the future holds is really only going to be dictated on what I do right now, and how I prepare for those next steps, and that’s being the best teammate that I can in that locker room and a great leader out here, I think within the Dallas community. … So we’re just putting that to bed and just focus on what we have ahead as a team.”

Irving’s departure from Brooklyn was a far cry from the fanfare that followed his arrival along with Kevin Durant in 2019, when the player who was a Nets fan in New Jersey came home in hopes of leading the franchise to its first title.

But they never got close, and when Irving asked to be traded, just like he once did in Cleveland, the Nets quickly accommodated him.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.