Dallas Mavericks

Kyrie Irving agrees to 3-year deal with Dallas Mavericks, per report

The eight-time All-Star was acquired by the Mavs in a trade last February

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Kyrie Irving is staying in Dallas...but not with the max deal he may have been hoping for.

Irving reportedly has agreed to a three-year, $126 million contract to return to the Mavericks, according to The Athletic's Shams Charania. The third year of the deal is a player option.

The 31-year-old Irving, after being acquired by the Mavericks in a February trade with the Brooklyn Nets for Dorian-Finney-Smith, Spencer Dinwiddie and draft picks, entered free agency reportedly hoping to secure a long-term deal that would take him to his final NBA destination.

But the market for the eight-time All-Star was not robust, allowing the Mavericks to retain Irving for three years rather than the five-year deal he was eligible for. With the deal, which was announced shortly after NBA free agency opened at 6 p.m. on Friday, the Mavs avoided the risk that came with a long-term commitment to the mercurial Irving, given his recent history with the Nets and Boston Celtics.     

The Mavericks were expected to be a lock for the playoffs after pairing Irving with Luka Doncic, but they went just 8-12 in the 20 games Irving played with the team. The duo was limited to just 16 games together due to injuries, going 5-11 in that span, but posted an offensive rating of 119.2 points per 100 possessions.

"I think when we have that talented of a player -- that talented of two players -- I think they work together," Mavericks general manager Nico Harrison told reporters in April. "I really think it's the players around them ... kind of knowing their role with having those two guys out on the floor at the same time. I think that's the thing that we need to work on."

Irving averaged 27.0 points, 6.0 assists and 5.0 rebounds for Dallas while shooting 51 percent from the field and 39.2 percent from three.  

Over his 12-year career, the former No. 1 overall pick has averaged 23.4 points, 5.7 assists and 3.9 rebounds per game. The Mavericks are Irving's fourth NBA team, with the star guard having made bitter exits at each of his previous stops.

Irving requested a trade from the Cleveland Cavaliers one season after helping the team capture its first championship in franchise history in 2016. He publicly announced that he'd re-sign with the Boston Celtics only to leave after his second season with the team. His tumultuous tenure on a failed superteam in Brooklyn that won just one playoff series ended when contract negotiations broke down and he requested a trade last season.  

A report on Thursday said Irving was expected to meet with the Phoenix Suns about the possibility of reuniting with former Brooklyn teammate Kevin Durant. In early June, Irving reportedly was trying to recruit former Cavaliers teammate LeBron James to Dallas.  

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