Kyrie Irving faced a pivotal decision in the offseason, choosing between staying with the Dallas Mavericks or joining forces once again with LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers. Irving ultimately opted for the Lone Star State, signing a lucrative $126 million, 3-year contract with the Mavericks, a move that has paid dividends for both him and the team.
The Mavericks, currently seated comfortably at fifth in the fiercely competitive Western Conference with a notable 24-17 record, have thrived with Irving in their ranks. The chemistry between Irving and young phenom Luka Doncic has been undeniable, propelling the team into the playoff conversation.
Irving's individual performance has been nothing short of stellar, boasting averages of 25.8 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 5.4 assists per game. His shooting prowess, with a remarkable 48.0% from the field and an impressive 41.6% from beyond the arc, has elevated the Mavericks to new heights.
However, the 'what if' scenario looms large. Had Irving chosen the Lakers, the struggling purple and gold would likely be in a vastly different position. The Lakers, currently wallowing in the 10th spot in the West with a tepid 20-21 record, have grappled with offensive struggles throughout the season. Irving's dynamic offensive skill set would undoubtedly provide a much-needed boost, reshaping the Lakers into an offensive powerhouse.
Where the Lakers would likely be with Kyrie Irving:
Irving's hypothetical stint with the Lakers could see them comfortably placed at fourth in the West with a commendable 25-16 record. The Lakers' offensive rating, currently languishing at 112.2 and ranked 22nd in the league, would experience a seismic shift with Irving's scoring prowess. The mere thought of Irving collaborating with LeBron James and Anthony Davis paints a picture of a formidable trio capable of contending for the NBA title.
While Irving's individual numbers might experience a slight dip given the presence of two other superstars, his sacrifice would be crucial in establishing a more balanced and lethal Lakers squad.
In this alternate reality, the Lakers wouldn't just be struggling to secure a playoff berth; they would be thriving, making waves as a powerhouse in the Western Conference. The decision-making ripple effect would extend beyond individual stats, shaping the narrative of the entire NBA season.
One can only wonder how the chessboard of basketball would unfold if Kyrie Irving had chosen the glitz and glamour of the Lakers over the allure of the Mavericks' future.
Kyrie Irving on the Lakers felt like it was going to be a reality
In a twist of basketball fate, Kyrie Irving's reported desire to reunite with LeBron James during the last free agency period added a layer of intrigue to the NBA offseason. According to sources close to the situation, Irving, having secured courtside seats at Game 6 of the Lakers' playoff series against the Memphis Grizzlies at Crypto.com Arena, aimed to convey his eagerness for a reunion with the four-time MVP.
The two-time NBA champion and James, who had previously clinched an NBA title together with the Cavaliers in 2016, were on Irving's radar for a potential partnership, whether in Los Angeles or Dallas. Irving strategically attended Lakers' games to send a clear message of his interest in joining forces once again.
Despite the Lakers' shocking run through the Western Conference, Irving ultimately opted for continuity, re-signing with the Mavericks for a lucrative three-year, $126 million deal. The Lakers, prioritizing continuity and strategic additions, focused on retaining their own free agents and acquiring additional talent to bolster their roster.