LeBron James

Report: Kyrie trying to recruit LeBron to join Mavericks

Kyrie Irving reportedly has reached out to LeBron James about a potential reunion in Dallas.

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Kyrie Irving reportedly is interested in reuniting with LeBron James, and he wants to do it with his new team.

The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported Monday, citing sources, that Irving has reached out to James about teaming up with fellow star Luka Dončić on the Dallas Mavericks.

James is under contract for the 2023-24 NBA season and owns a $50.7 million player option for 2024-25, but he mentioned he was considering retirement shortly after the Lakers were swept in the Western Conference finals in May. Irving is an unrestricted free agent.

Irving and James were teammates for three seasons with the Cleveland Cavaliers. They reached the NBA Finals together in all three seasons and led the Cavaliers to their first championship by defeating the Warriors in 2016.

Irving was traded from the Cavs to the Boston Celtics in 2017, and James left Cleveland for the Los Angeles Lakers the following offseason. Irving played two seasons in Boston and spent three-plus tumultuous seasons with the Brooklyn Nets before being dealt to the Mavericks ahead of the 2023 trade deadline. The Mavericks finished 38-44 and missed the play-in tournament, while James’ Lakers were swept by the Denver Nuggets in four games in the conference finals.

There has long been speculation about Irving and James teaming up again, but that hypothetical reunion was mostly thought to take place in LA. James reportedly wanted the Lakers to trade for Irving at the deadline in February.

Salaries and the new NBA collective bargaining agreement would make a James-Irving-Dončić trio tough to assemble. Dončić is due over $40 million, so unless Irving were to take a significant pay cut or James were to be bought out and take a reduced deal, the Mavericks -- like all teams -- will struggle to fit three max-level players on their payroll.

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As for a James trade, there’s also a question about what the Mavericks could offer the Lakers. Dallas sent Spencer Dinwiddie, Dorian Finney-Smith, an unprotected first-round pick in 2029 and two second-round picks for Irving and Markieff Morris. The team owns the No. 10 draft pick in 2023, but outside of Irving, Dončić and picks, the only other intriguing assets are young contributors like Josh Green and Jaden Hardy.

NBA free agency begins on June 30, and all eyes will be on Irving and James throughout the offseason to see what their futures hold.

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