DALLAS — The NBA offseason flew off the rails even earlier than usual on Monday as reports showed a continued link between LeBron James and Kyrie Irving, with Irving reportedly recruiting James to the Dallas Mavericks this summer.
Irving is a free agent while James has one more guaranteed year on his contract.
Locked On Mavs hosts Nick Angstadt and Isaac Harris discussed the rumor on a Monday edition of the podcast.
“There’s a chess match that’s going on between LeBron and Pelinka,” Harris noted. “LeBron wants Kyrie in L.A., the Lakers don’t.”
After James and the Los Angeles Lakers exited the playoffs, James planted the seeds of his potential retirement. This leak becomes the second signal that he could be open to a change as he nears the end of his career.
“You have to throw out all logic when it comes to LeBron. LeBron has power,” Harris said. “I don’t want to sit here and say it will never happen because I don’t know.”
Still, Dallas’ first priority is likely Irving, who they acquired at the trade deadline in a hefty deal.
“Maybe it does say that he could be OK in Dallas, that he’s not completely against the idea, that he’s not completely 100% out already,” Angstadt said. “I’m not going to buy into the idea that … he’s sold, he’s bought in.”
So early in the offseason, much of what comes out in the NBA rumor mill is designed to come out for a reason. Angstadt said it could have been leaked to benefit both parties’ aims.
“I think it’s a LeBron-Klutch leverage play or a Kyrie to L.A. leverage play,” Angstadt said.