On the surface, the Mavericks on Sunday pulled off the biggest acquisition of a proven star in the franchise’s 43-year history.

An eight-time All-Star and a reigning one, at that. An NBA champion and Finals hero. The most recent addition to the elite 50-40-90 club (2020-21). A former Rookie of the Year (2012).

On the surface, Dallas’ acquisition of Kyrie Irving from Brooklyn, paired with Luka Doncic, instantly created the NBA’s most dynamic backcourt and the league’s highest-scoring duo.

But as NBA fans and Irving’s three former teams have come to know all too well, surface-level projections involving Irving are never cut-and-dried and rarely come to fruition, at least for long.

History shows that Irving paired with LeBron James to win the 2016 NBA title with Cleveland, with Irving sinking the winning 3-pointer in Game 7. And that the Cavs might have won the 2015 title had Irving not fractured his left kneecap in the Finals.