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Kyrie Irving (right foot) sidelined against Bulls

Dallas (38-42) trails the No. 10-seeded Oklahoma City by 1/2 game with 2 games left to play, including tonight's matchup against Chicago.

The Mavs’ guard is averaging 27 ppg and 5 apg in 20 games with the team this season.

The Dallas Mavericks’ hopes for a postseason push will be decidedly harder for at least one night.

The team announced guard Kyrie Irving will miss Friday’s game against the Chicago Bulls (8:30 p.m. ET, NBA League Pass) to help his nagging right foot injury heal up. He won’t be the only player missing Friday’s game as Josh Green (rest), Tim Hardaway Jr. (left ankle soreness), Maxi Kleber (right hamstring injury recovery) and Christian Wood (rest) will also be out.

Dallas is 38-42 and trails the No. 10-seeded Oklahoma City Thunder by 1/2 game with two games left to play. The Thunder can clinch an AT&T Play-In Tournament bid if the Mavs lose tonight. Dallas missing the playoffs would be stunning turn of events considering last season’s team made a run to the Western Conference finals.

Recently, Mavs owner Mark Cuban told reporters he views re-signing Irving this summer as a top priority, but also doesn’t view it as a “Kyrie or bust” scenario.

Cuban held a rare session with reporters before Wednesday’s 123-119 victory against Sacramento that kept alive the Mavs’ hopes of getting the final play-in spot as the 10th seed in the West.

Dallas gambled with the blockbuster deal for Irving before the trade deadline in February despite his expiring contract, giving the franchise its first pair of All-Star starters with Luka Doncic.

The Mavericks have slipped in the standings since then, in part because of injuries to both stars, but Cuban maintains the move was made for the long term. Still, Cuban stopped short of declaring Irving’s return a must.

“It’s not Kyrie or bust, but we want to keep him,” said Cuban, who used to speak to reporters routinely before games before locker room access changed several years ago. “I’m done giving ultimatums on players like I did last year.”

Cuban said the Mavericks never intended for Doncic and Irving to be the heartbeat of the defense, so the challenge will be finding those complementary pieces in the offseason.

With a win over the Kings on Wednesday, has Dallas managed to salvage a shot at the playoffs with 2 games to play?

That’s with the owner presuming he can convince Irving to stick around. Cuban was noncommittal on contract terms because of uncertainty over rules in the new labor deal.

“I want him to stay for sure, and I think we have a good shot,” Cuban said. “I think he’s happy here. He told me he’s happy here.”

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.

“I think he’s a good guy,” Cuban said. “All I can tell you is everything I knew about Kyrie because of everything I read is 100% wrong. I get emails from people all the time. I’m like, ‘Do you know the guy?’ Once you get to know the guy, I like him. He’s not like every guy. He’s not like every athlete. And to me, that’s a positive.”

Entering Friday’s home game against Chicago, Doncic and Irving are 5-11 when playing together.

Luka has dealt with a series of injuries this season which leaves questions regarding the Mavericks’ playoff aspirations.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.