Lakers Rumors: Kyrie Irving Reached Out To LeBron James About Joining Mavericks
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James has already been a significant part of the headlines this offseason. After he hinted about a potential retirement after the Lakers lost to the Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference Finals, fans have waited for an official word about his status for next season.

If he does ultimately return to the Lakers — which has been rumored as the likeliest scenario — one potential move he would like to make is finding a way to acquire Dallas Mavericks star guard Kyrie Irving.

Irving to the Lakers has been an ongoing rumor for over a year, but is unlikely due to the cap- maneuvering it would require to land him.

But now, the entire rumor has been flipped on its head. Reportedly, Irving has begun reaching out to James to see if he could find his way to the Mavericks to play alongside Irving and Luka Doncic, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic:

If true, this is an earnest attempt by Irving to find a way to play alongside someone he has been trying to return to ever since he left the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2017. However, as difficult as getting Irving to the Lakers would be under the rules of the CBA, getting James to Dallas would be astronomically more difficult.

Breaking down James to Dallas

James is under contract for $46.9 million next season with a player option for around $50 million the following season. In order to facilitate a deal, the Mavericks would need to send back somewhere in the ballpark of at least $38 million in salary to be a legal match.

If they want to avoid being hard-capped at the new second apron, they would need to send at least $42.8 million in matching salary.

Outside of Doncic — who would be a part of Irving’s dream big three — the Mavericks simply don’t have the necessary elements to make a deal. It would take all three of Tim Hardaway Jr., Davis Bertans and either Reggie Bullock or Maxi Kleber just to have a match.

From there, they only have two first-round picks they can legally send. Theoretically, James could force L.A. to give him a buyout by threatening retirement, but at that point, the Lakers would almost rather he retire.

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