Kyrie Irving made it clear in comments to the media that he does not intend to discuss his future with the Dallas Mavericks publicly during the season.
Irving and the Mavs agreed to not discuss a potential contract extension until after the playoffs. Irving will be a free agent this offseason and the Mavericks traded for him without any assurances he would remain with the franchise after his contract expires.
“It puts unwarranted distractions on us and our team,” Irving said before making his home debut for the Mavericks against the Minnesota Timberwolves. “I’ve dealt with it before, and it’s very emotionally draining to ask questions like, ‘What’s the long term? What’s the long term?'”
Irving is only eligible to sign up to a two-year, $83 million contract with the Mavericks during the season because he was recently traded.
Irving could sign a four-year, $220.6 million supermax extension during free agency or re-sign with the Mavs for up to $272 million over five years as a free agent.
The Los Angeles Lakers are among the teams expected to be interested in Irving if he becomes a free agent.
“I don’t see any risk involved,” said Mavs general manager Nico Harrison, a former longtime Nike executive whose relationship with Irving dates to the guard’s high school days. “I’ve known Kyrie for a long time. I know his core. I know what kind of person that he is. I think anybody that’s ever watched him play basketball knows the type of basketball player he is.
“So I don’t see the risk involved. I actually see the risk in not doing the deal.”
“I will say that from the start, from when I came here, there’s been nothing but a warm embrace, nothing but genuine love and nothing but a familiarity of relationships that I can really look to in times of questioning or confusion,” Irving said. “There’s just a positive note there. I’m just taking it one day at a time. That’s all I can do in this life. What the future holds is really only going to be dictated on what I do right now and how I prepare for those next steps, and that’s being the best teammate that I can be in that locker room and a great leader out here and within the Dallas community and within the NBA. I’ll just continue to be myself.
“So I’m just putting that to bed and just focusing on what we have ahead of us as a team.”