“It distracts us unjustly”

Kyrie Irving doesn’t want to talk about his future, either in Dallas or anywhere else.

Irving, who spoke with the Mavericks Monday night ahead of his home debut after ending up in a blockbuster trade with the Brooklyn Nets there earlier this month, insisted he didn’t want to talk about a possible contract extension – something he and the Mavericks have agreed not to discuss until after the season is over.

Doing that now, Irving said, would create a distraction.

“It’s an unjustified distraction for us and our team,” Irving said. “I’ve dealt with this before, and it’s very emotionally draining to ask questions like, ‘What’s the long term? What is long-term?’”

Irving: “I only take it one day at a time”

Irving is slated to be a free agent in the upcoming offseason. He can sign a two-year extension for $83 million during the season or a four-year deal for $220.6 million in free agency. He could also re-sign with Dallas for up to $272 million over five years.

While Irving says he doesn’t want to create unnecessary distractions in Dallas, he’s created a lot in Brooklyn in recent months — whether it’s his refusal to get vaccinated against COVID-19 or his promotion of an anti-Semitic film leading to a The suspension led the season.

Despite the baggage Irving will bring and the undeniable interest from others in the league in the coming months, Mavericks general manager Nico Harrison sees “no risk” in bringing Irving in now.

“I’ve known Kyrie for a long time. I know its core,” Harrison said. “I know what kind of person he is. I think anyone who has ever watched him play basketball knows what kind of basketball player he is. So I don’t see the risk. I actually see the risk in not making the deal.”

Monday night was Irving’s fourth game in Dallas and second alongside Mavericks star Luka Doncic. Irving dropped 36 points — 26 of them in the fourth quarter — in Dallas’ 124-121 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves at the American Airlines Center.

While it’s early days, Irving has been enjoying his time in Dallas so far. And for as long as he can, he won’t focus on what’s in store for him this summer.

“I will say that from the start, since I came here, there has been nothing but a warm hug, nothing but genuine love and nothing but an intimate relationship that I can really count on in times of questions or confusion,” said irving , . “There is only one positive comment. I only take it one day at a time. That’s all I can do in this life. What the future holds will really only be determined by what I’m doing right now and how I’m preparing for those next steps, and that means being the best teammate I can be in this locker room and a great leader out here and within the Dallas community and within the NBA. I’ll just keep being myself.

“So I just put that to bed and just focus on what we have ahead of us as a team.”

Kyrie Irving is guarded by the Dallas Mavericks

Kyrie Irving is set to be a free agent this summer, but he’s not ready to talk about it just yet. (AP/Jose Luis Villegas)

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