ESPN’s Brian Windhorst thinks Kyrie Irving showing up at the Los Angeles Lakers games is a leverage play to get more money from the Dallas Mavericks in free agency.
“The two big names out on the [free agent] market this year are James Harden and Kyrie Irving,” Windhorst said on his podcast. “Both of them, at $48 to $50-something million, seem like very bad bets. But, there is a scarcity [of star talent] there.
“I also think that both of them, Kyrie showing up to Laker games, James Harden being rumored to be attached to the [Houston] Rockets, I still think/suspect all of that is one giant leverage play. That, what James Harden really wants is to elicit the biggest offer out of the Sixers even if it isn’t a max [contract]. Whatever the number of money is, for as long as many years as he can get. And that this slow dance for months and these rumors are all sort of tied to that.
“And I think that Kyrie could be doing the same exact thing [with the Mavericks]. Just doing all of this, and whatever he may do between now and free agency to try to get the juiciest offer he can from the team he’s on. ‘Cause [the Sixers and Mavericks] face the most damage from losing those guys.”