Aug 11, 2013, 11:00 AM EDT
Kyrie Irving is one of the best young players in the NBA right now and the centerpiece of a Cleveland Cavaliers squad that could develop into a very good team in a couple of years. The team’s point guard was hesitant to confirm that he’d still be a Cavalier when the team’s potential meets reality, however, when he was questioned at his basketball camp this weekend.
Irving is eligible for a five-year contract extension worth $80 million next summer, but he was hesitant to talk about accepting that offer while talking to the Akron Beacon Journal’s Jason Lloyd over the weekend.
“I’m not really worried about that right now. Right now I’m focusing on the year ahead, my third year, then I’ll worry about that in the summertime,” Irving said. “Right now I’m a Cavalier. This is where I am. All that future stuff, I’m not really worried about.”
Irving’s comments obviously don’t mean that he’s intent on turning down the max offer when it’s extended next summer, but it wasn’t exactly a ringing endorsement that he plans to stay when his rookie contract ends, either. That portion has to be a bit surprising to the Cavs, considering they’ve built around him with a young team that also includes top-five picks Anthony Bennett, Dion Waiters and Tristan Thompson along with the high-impact, injury-prone Andrew Bynum in the center slot.
The Cavs wouldn’t be lost without Irving, but the young All-Star certainly isn’t easily replaceable. And, if he forces the Cavs to try and do just that, the fan base that lost LeBron James isn’t going to be happy to lose another former No. 1 pick — especially if he joins a ready-made championship team somewhere else.