Jalen Brunson leaving for nothing in return to New York put the Dallas Mavericks in a peculiar situation.

With a team that is nearly at its salary cap limit, possessing one open roster spot, and seeking damage control after losing its second-best player, Dallas may be in the market for a Kyrie Irving trade.

Irving opted into his $36 million player option for the 2022-23 seasons, which makes it easier for the Mavericks to work out a deal with the Nets because it wouldn’t have to be a sign-and-trade. All Dallas would need to do is match the salary of Irving with some combination of players like Tim Hardeway Jr., Spencer Dinwiddie, Davis Bertans or Dwight Powell.

Dallas giving up any of those listed players and future picks for a player as talented as Irving makes basketball sense. However, the Nets’ All-Star point guard, who averaged 27 points per game last season in Brooklyn, comes with baggage that makes him impossible to trade for.

Why Dallas should stay out of the Irving sweepstakes

Since leaving Cleveland, Irving spurned the Boston Celtics, an organization that tried to make life easy on him. Boston still hates him to this day.

He then attempted to build Brooklyn into the basketball mecca. It would have been a fine effort if he played more than he sat out. Between injuries his first season, falling short in the playoffs his second season and the vaccine mandate fiasco in his third season, Irving hasn’t been reliable since leaving LeBron James’ side.

Dallas trading for him would be a move of desperation — one that seeks a band-aid solution to a far deeper problem.

Irving would help sell tickets, but would he help bring championships? The answer is no.

He would bring excitement on the court and migraines in the locker room. Irving couldn’t mesh with Jason Kidd’s chemistry and accountability approach. He didn’t want to sacrifice and win with Kevin Durant. There is no emotional pull to get the best out of him in Dallas.

Dallas biding for Irving’s services would mark a distressed franchise that saw its second-best offensive player leave for a reason. He would serve as a distraction from the reality that players — outside of Dirk Nowitzki and Luka Doncic — don’t like to stay in Dallas too long.

And to answer that question would require genuine soul searching from the organization that has seen stars born in its midsts and leave more times than not.

Irving would be a swing for the fences and most likely a miss.

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Feature image via  Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports