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NBA GM suggests Luka Doncic ‘doesn’t want to share’ spotlight with Kyrie Irving

After playing just 20 games with the Dallas Mavericks (16 with Luka Doncic) following his trade from the Brooklyn Nets, Kyrie Irving is set for unrestricted free agency later this summer. As the top player on the NBA free agent market, Irving is sure to have plenty of suitors vying for his services.

Yet, the Mavericks are expected to put up a good fight to retain the 31-year-old eight-time All-Star even if their best player may not be 100 percent on board with the decision to try and retain Irving, according to some league executives.

“I think they want Kyrie and they like Kyrie, but what I can tell you is that Luka, who wasn’t against the trade, just like so many young players today, doesn’t want to share. Kyrie was on great behavior — like he was doing everything to try to win over Luka and be a teammate. Every single player on that team and everyone in the organization loves Kyrie from his time there so far.”

Anonymous NBA GM on Luka Doncic’s relationship with Kyrie Irving

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The Mavericks went just 5-11 with both Irving and Doncic in the starting lineup, with both players battling various injuries during their time together in Dallas. While winning just 31% of their games is far from ideal, there hasn’t been any indication that there was any on-court friction between the two Mavericks’ stars.

“Kyrie’s behavior was excellent. It was more the fact that Luka had to adjust to playing with such a great player. Everyone there has been saying Kyrie is incredible, and that’s in private, too. Luka’s said it and he means it. But I think that he just doesn’t want to share. He just doesn’t know how. He’s out there on the court and the ball has been in his hands; no matter what, it’s his ball. And now there’s actually consideration that I might need to pass the ball to somebody else and let them do the magic, instead of me just waiting for the clock to run down and shoot a step-back 3 from the hash mark.

More from unnamed NBA GM on the Luka Doncic/Kyrie Irving connection

Related: Utah Jazz reportedly ‘keeping an eye’ on Luka Doncic-Dallas Mavericks situation

Yet, maybe Doncic does need to mature a bit more, having never shared the court with another player even close to the same level of skill. That’s part of the sentiment shared by the anonymous exec chiming in on the situation.

“I get that totally, by the way. I understand it. I think it happens all the time in our league. And we forget that Luka’s 24 years old. At some point he’s going to want someone like that, and he just isn’t there yet. Making All-NBA and being in the MVP conversation, those things will be tarnished a little bit if you are playing with someone else that on one-third of the nights needs the ball and is better than you at those times.”

Maybe Doncic and Irving simply needed more time to gel. Should anyone really have expected two ball-dominant players who are just as good at distributing as they are as a scorer to quickly work out all the kinks with very few opportunities to practice in between games? Let’s face it. The Mavericks were always facing an uphill battle, trying to play catch-up late in the year.

While this is one NBA GM’s take, we’d love to hear from Doncic himself on the matter. But chances are, he’d continue to throw his support behind the 2016 NBA Champion.

Related: Jason Kidd opens up about Kyrie Irving’s free agency and his place with Dallas Mavericks

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