Kyrie Irving asks media to maintain concentrate on current with Mavs

DALLAS — Kyrie Irving made a well mannered request throughout a information convention Monday night to introduce him to the Dallas media: Please don’t ask him about his future past this season.

The Dallas Mavericks traded for Irving final week regardless of not having any assurances he would stay with the franchise after his contract expires on the finish of the season. Irving and the Mavs agreed to not focus on a possible contract extension till after the playoffs, and Irving made it clear Monday that he doesn’t intend to speak in regards to the topic publicly for the rest of the season.

“It puts unwarranted distractions on us and our team,” Irving stated earlier than making his house debut for the Mavericks in a 124-121 loss to 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’s house debut in Dallas was each spectacular and disappointing. He scored 26 of his 36 factors within the fourth quarter — probably the most factors in any quarter of his profession, based on ESPN Stats & Information analysis — however the Mavs’ comeback try fell brief after they did not get a shot up on the ultimate possession.

Luka Doncic and Irving handed the ball backwards and forwards just a few instances earlier than Irving coughed up a turnover simply earlier than the ultimate buzzer.

“I’m still trying to emotionally recover, man,” Irving stated in his postgame media availability, protecting his head in his palms. “It’s still so raw. Ah, man. I would have liked to at least get a shot up.”

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Because he was just lately traded, Irving is eligible to signal solely a two-year contract extension value a most of $83 million throughout the season. He might signal a four-year, $220.6 million supermax extension throughout free company or re-sign with the Mavs for as much as $272 million over 5 years as a free agent.

The Los Angeles Lakers are among the many groups that might have vital salary-cap area which might be anticipated to be suitors for Irving within the offseason. LeBron James, who received a championship in Cleveland with Irving, has publicly expressed a need to reunite with him and bemoaned the Lakers’ failure to get a commerce performed after they made a suggestion to Brooklyn of Russell Westbrook and a pair of first-round picks.

“I can’t sit here and say I’m not disappointed on not being able to land such a talent, but [also] someone that I had great chemistry with, and know I got great chemistry with on the floor, that can help you win championships, in my mind, in my eyes,” James advised ESPN’s Michael Wilbon as a part of a wide-ranging interview final week. “But my focus is shifted now. My focus is shifted back to where it should be and that’s this club now and what we have in the locker room.”

Questions about Irving’s free company resolution swirled round him all through his 2018-19 season with the Boston Celtics. He selected to signal that summer time with the Brooklyn Nets, forming a star partnership with Kevin Durant that broke up after Irving requested a commerce on Feb. 3, two days earlier than Dallas agreed to ship ahead Dorian Finney-Smith, guard Spencer Dinwiddie, an unprotected 2029 first-round decide and two second-rounders to amass the eight-time All-Star guard and reserve ahead Markieff Morris.

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The transfer fulfilled the Mavs’ long-running seek for a celebrity to pair with perennial MVP candidate Doncic, at the least briefly. The blockbuster deal is extensively thought-about a large threat for the Mavs due to Irving’s turbulent monitor file — which additionally consists of requesting a commerce from the Cleveland Cavaliers and a collection of off-court controversies with the Nets — and his contractual standing.

“I don’t see any risk involved,” stated Mavs basic supervisor Nico Harrison, a former longtime Nike govt whose relationship with Irving dates to the guard’s highschool 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 do not see the danger concerned. I really see the danger in not doing the deal.”

Irving cited his strong relationships with Harrison and coach Jason Kidd, his favorite player while growing up in New Jersey, as reasons he has instantly felt comfortable with the Mavericks.

Irving indicated it would be a disservice to the Mavs, who are in fifth place in the Western Conference, to put any spotlight on his potential free agency instead of focusing solely on this season.

“I’ll say that from the beginning, from after I got here right here, there’s been nothing however a heat embrace, nothing however real love and nothing however a familiarity of relationships that I can actually look to in instances of questioning or confusion,” Irving said. “There’s only a constructive word there. I’m simply taking it at some point at a time. That’s all I can do on this life. What the longer term holds is actually solely going to be dictated on what I do proper now and the way I put together for these subsequent steps, and that is being one of the best teammate that I could be in that locker room and a terrific chief out right here and inside the Dallas neighborhood and inside the NBA. I’ll simply proceed to be myself.

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“So I’m just putting that to bed and just focusing on what we have ahead of us as a team.”