The Dallas Mavericks were loosely linked to Kyrie Irving this past offseason, but their interest in acquiring him is believed to have picked up in November when he was suspended by the Brooklyn Nets for linking to a documentary with antisemitic tropes. At that time, Zach Lowe characterized Irving’s value around the league as being radioactive.
Irving returned to the Nets in mid-November and they went on an extended streak of excellent basketball and his comments to the media completely avoided controversy. But when extension talks with the Nets broke down, he requested a trade and was dealt to the Mavericks two days later.
“For Dallas, here’s something: they’ve been looking at Kyrie Irving as a guy who could be their co-star for Luka Doncic,” said Shams Charania on the Basketball Illuminati podcast. “They’ve been looking into this since November. Since Kyrie Irving had that Tweet link situation, the Mavericks quietly were the one team that were like ‘Yo, if we could trade for him now, or if he gets released by the Nets somehow, someway, he’s coming here. We want him bad.’
“I think that comes from Mark Cuban having the aggressiveness… Nico Harrison, Jason Kidd, they wanted Kyrie Irving as well. Nico Harrison has a relationship with him from Nike. Jason Kidd had a long relationship with him just as point guards, Jersey… Jason Kidd played in New Jersey, Kyrie Irving grew up in New Jersey. I think there were a lot of reasons.”