When the Dallas Mavericks acquired Kyrie Irving from the Nets in February, the goal was to form a lethal combination with Irving and Luka Doncic, but the Mavs had some injuries, did not play well, and missed the playoffs.
However, Dallas believes the pairing can be successful, and according to Shams Charania, Irving will be back in Dallas and has agreed to a three-year, $126 million deal, with a player option in the third season.
Irving, 31, is still one of the purest scorers in the NBA. Last season, in 20 games with the Mavericks, the eight-time All-Star averaged 27.0 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 6.0 assists.
The Doncic and Irving pairing can work, especially if they put the right pieces around them. Additionally, Irving would need to stay healthy and be reliable. Jason Kidd will have an offseason and training camp to make it work.
Mavs bring back a familiar face
Seth Curry is back in Dallas. According to reports, it’s a two-year deal. Last season, Curry, who played for the Brooklyn Nets, averaged 9.2 points on 46% shooting from deep. Curry had two previous stints with the Mavs(2016-17, 2019-20).
According to Adrian Wojnarowski, Dwight Powell has agreed to a three-year, $12 million deal with the Mavs; last season, the 31-year-old averaged 6.7 points and 4.1 rebounds in 19.2 minutes per contest.
The nine-year veteran will provide depth for the Mavs frontcourt.
Exum is coming to Dallas
Dante Exum is back in the NBA. According to Wojnarowski, it’s a guaranteed deal. The former No. 5 overall pick last played in the NBA with Cleveland in 2o21.
Last season, Exum led Partizan, of the Euroleague, to a championship.
The 27-year-old has battled injuries throughout his career. He tore his ACL in 2015; he battled a shoulder injury in 2017; in 2018, Exum suffered a partially torn patellar tendon in his right knee.
Mavs GM Nico Harrison is hoping to build a team around Doncic and Irving and is hoping to build a championship team. Again, Dallas missed the playoffs last season, which was a clear disappointment, and they don’t want that to happen again.
Cleveland Cavaliers guard Danté Exum will be out 6-8 weeks with a right calf strain, the team announced on Wednesday. Exum left Monday night’s road game against the Orlando Magic in the first quarter with the injury and did not return. The 25-year Exum has struggled with injuries in his career, including tearing his ACL back in 2015.
In six games this season, the five-year veteran is averaging 3.8 points, 2.8 rebounds, and 2.2 assists per contest.
Also, Cavaliers guard Darius Garland, who was held out of Monday night’s game against the Magic with a right shoulder sprain, could miss up to one week with that injury but will be re-evaluated daily through treatment and rehabilitation, the team said. According to the Cavaliers, the 20-year-old Garland experienced discomfort in the shoulder following the Cavs’ win on Jan. 2 at Atlanta.
The second-year guard was off to a good start this season. In six games, Garland is averaging 17.2 points, 6.3 assists, and 3.3 rebounds per contest.
The Cavaliers, who fell to the Magic 103-83 on Monday night, will finish their two-game series in Orlando against the Magic tonight.
Throughout the 2020 NBA season, the Cleveland Cavaliers(4-3) have dealt with their share of adversity. Injuries have hit this team hard in this young season, including Kevin Love and Isaac Okoro, who have missed five games with injuries and are still out.
The injuries hit the team on Monday night in Orlando against the Magic(5-2). Darius Garland missed his first game of the season with a shoulder injury, and in the first quarter, Dante Exum went down with an apparent lower leg injury. Cleveland was depleted in this game, and it showed. The Cavaliers were routed by the Magic 103-83.
The Magic’s Aaron Gordon scored 24 points and 11 rebounds, and Nikola Vucevic chipped in with 23 points. Collin Sexton led the Cavaliers with 24 points.
“It’s tough,” Bickerstaff said. “I think our guys played hard. They tried to do what we asked them to do, but with so many guys out of position tonight. It’s hard to organize guys, especially when you’re losing primary ball-handlers.
Cleveland does not have the bodies right now, but according to Bickerstaff, they have to find a way to figure it out.
“It is what it is, and we just gotta figure it out; we are down bodies,” he said. “We talked about adversity a few games back. I think this is the epitome of it, so we just gotta figure it out, and we gotta get the most out of these opportunities that we have.”
Cleveland is off to a surprising start, but as the injuries continue to mount, Bickerstaff is right; they have to figure it out, which won’t be easy. The figuring out starts on Wednesday against the Magic.
-Collin Sexton has tied the Cavaliers record for consecutive 20-point games to start the season with 7 (LeBron James, 2004-05). Sexton, who has also put up 20+ points in 12 straight contests going back to 2019-20, is the only player in the NBA this season with at least 25.0 PPG, .500 FG%, and .500 3FG%.
-After Wednesday’s game against the Magic, they travel to Memphis on Thursday and finish up their six-game road trip against the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday.