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Kyrie Irving deflects questions regarding his future

Aug 11, 2013, 11:00 AM EST

kyrie AP

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.

  1. legend30 - Aug 11, 2013 at 11:17 AM

    Jim Gray, get ready for the “Decision 2″

    • therealhtj - Aug 11, 2013 at 5:33 PM

      Maybe in 6 years. He’ll take that 5/90 guaranteed the second it’s offered. Every max rookie does. Business first in the NBA.

  2. kb2408 - Aug 11, 2013 at 11:21 AM

    This kid is so good he might want to display his talents in a larger market and on a bigger stage. Compare what he said with what Paul George said about Indy. George is an L.A. kid and the LAKERS have tons of space in 2014. But George was quick to quash any talk of him having any plans of returning home to play in L.A. He also gave Indy a ringing endorsement. Kyrie didn’t give Cleveland such an endorsement. When it’s all said and done I’d be surprised if he left the Cavs. But certainly not shocked.

    • ljl2 - Aug 11, 2013 at 1:30 PM

      You should read his whole comments by people who cover Cavs and not just what is picked apart and posted on PBT

    • zoomy123 - Aug 11, 2013 at 2:35 PM

      The difference between Irving and George is that George is on a title contending team.

  3. gmsalpha - Aug 11, 2013 at 11:35 AM

    He gone!

    But in all seriousness, he can give an endorsement to Cleveland AND push aside talks of his next contract at the same time.

    “I love Cleveland and I hope to be a Cavalier for a long time, but that is a conversation for another time and will address it when the time comes.”

    Or something along those lines. But what he said would make me VERY nervous if I were a Cavs fan, and I’m not. But any small market team with a stud like that should be nervous when the words coming out of the player’s mouth is essentially “I’m a member of now, but I don’t know for how much longer and I don’t want to talk about it.”.

    Yes, Paul George had a much better response. Then again, the Pacers are a piece away from the NBA Finals. The Cavaliers are just a team with a lot of potential.

  4. realninerfan22 - Aug 11, 2013 at 12:08 PM

    Who cares. He has done nothing in this league yet but make good commercials. Why give this guy unwarnted hype? Has he even had a winning season yet? Nope! Has he raised the play of others around him? Nope! The guy hasn’t been healthy and entire season since his senior year in highschool. He has nice handles very flashy, but that dint win many games nor titles in this league. It isnt like he plays in tbe west, he plays in the weak ass east where a 39 win team in the bucks got in to the playoffs.. Start winning first. He hasn’t shown me nothing I’ve haven’t seen b4. Reminds me of a young jason terry. U kids go youtube a young Jason Terry.

    • Kurt Helin - Sep 3, 2013 at 8:34 PM

      You don’t watch a lot of Cavs basketball, do you?

  5. cantonbound13 - Aug 11, 2013 at 12:11 PM

    Why don’t they just leave these guys alone until their contract is up?

    • adamsjohn714 - Aug 11, 2013 at 7:45 PM

      They’re journalists. Why don’t they wait for all those MLB players to come forward voluntarily with Biogenesis documents? It’s their job to ask questions. Some might be stupid questions. This one certainly is not. A lot of fans want to know what Kyrie is thinking.

  6. sellahh - Aug 11, 2013 at 12:15 PM

    3 words: restricted free agent.
    Let’s have that conversation in 4 to 5 years.
    Will he win a ring in Cleveland? Probably not. Will he win a ring with a team he bolts for? Probably not as well.
    You don’t need a calendar at this time of the year with the kind of stories coming up.

  7. stephenolszewski - Aug 11, 2013 at 12:42 PM

    If The Cavs keep putting talent around him he will stay, they’ve done a far better job adding talent then they did when LeBron was in Cleveland

    • legend30 - Aug 11, 2013 at 1:01 PM

      Because LeBron carried the Cavs to the playoffs every year. So what do the Cavs do to improve the roster? They added Delonte West to be the 2nd option. Let me say that again, Delonte West… Kyrie Irving is a stud, but he’s been getting injured every year samething was happening when he was playing for Duke. With him being out all of the time the Cavs are able to get a high draft pick. Eventhough, I don’t understand why they passed up on Andre Drummond, Jonas Valanciunas, Nerlens Noel, etc.

    • zoomy123 - Aug 11, 2013 at 2:43 PM

      Not quite, lol. The Cavs have not done a better job putting talent around Irving. A lot of the talent around Kyrie (Waiters, Thompson, Bennett) are players that were acquired through the draft. The problem with LBJ was that he made the Cavs so much better that they could never have a losing season and acquire more talent through the draft. And besides their off season acquisitions this year (Bynum, Clark, Jack) the Cavs weren’t really doing anything before now either.

      • legend30 - Aug 11, 2013 at 2:57 PM

        I think the Cavs are hyping up Waiters and Thompson. Didn’t they offer the 1st pick, Waiters, and Thompson for Kevin Love and the T-wolves still rejected the trade. Bottom line is that Cavs reached for Waiters, Bennett, and Thompson. If they were that good, then they should never be put in that position to get the 1st pick this year. They are solid players but that’s it.

      • adamsjohn714 - Aug 11, 2013 at 7:47 PM

        Legend, I’d turn down virtually every trade for Kevin Love that didn’t return me Lebron, Durant, Chris Paul, or Kawhi Leonard, Tony Parker, and picks.

  8. lacolem1 - Aug 11, 2013 at 12:51 PM

    Also, when comparing Irving’s response to George’s, you have to consider the very real possibility that George is lying through his teeth.

    It’s a business, and if Irving doesn’t believe that Cleveland is a good fit for his long-term goals, so be it. It’s nothing personal. Nobody’s owed anything on either side except what’s stipulated in the contract.

  9. jamieaadams - Aug 11, 2013 at 1:19 PM

    He should sign with Miami for the minimum. Good Lord, that would be funny.

    • kb2408 - Aug 11, 2013 at 6:59 PM

      LeBron needs even more help?

      • jamieaadams - Aug 11, 2013 at 8:46 PM

        Nope. But I need to see Cleveland’s reaction. And I’ll need popcorn. Lots of popcorn.

  10. ljl2 - Aug 11, 2013 at 1:28 PM

    From his comments at the same time according to the plain dealer:

    Asked if he had any intention of leaving, Irving said, “No, no intention.”

    But hey, make sure you report asking every other player on a rookie contract if they intend to leave… Oh wait, only Cleveland’s guy? Ok. Cool.

    • adamsjohn714 - Aug 11, 2013 at 7:48 PM

      well he’s a pretty prominent guy…. You don’t put it on the front page if Joe from Scranton sends people who aren’t his wife pictures of his genitals. You do when the guy is a politician in NY.

      • ljl2 - Aug 13, 2013 at 10:39 AM

        There have been no other prominent guys on rookie contracts the past 3 years? Because that is how long these types of stories have been going on… ya know, since he’s been drafted.

      • adamsjohn714 - Aug 13, 2013 at 11:10 AM

        relax man. They ask most people, it’s just bigger news because Lebron “left” Cleveland a few years ago. Kyrie isn’t that great anyways. He’s replaceable.

  11. Alex - Aug 11, 2013 at 1:52 PM

    This is just business talk. If Kyrie comes right out and says, “Yes, I plan to re-sign and stay in Cleveland. Then the Cavs won’t offer him the max contract, since they already think they have him locked up.”

    By not committing to it right now, the Cavs will be forced to whip out the max-contract because they’re worried they might lose him, and Kyrie becomes a rich man.

    Same thing that happened with Chris Paul.

  12. abchome - Aug 11, 2013 at 2:34 PM

    If you’re betting on Irving accepting the $9 million qualifing offer for 2015/16, over the likely “80 ball” and possibly “95 ball” for 2015/16~2019/20, so that he could join your team in 2016/17, good luck to you!

  13. brannu23 - Aug 11, 2013 at 2:47 PM

    2 things:

    1. Winning changes everything. If they have a winning season and it looks likely that it could continue for a few years, I think he would stay.

    2. Kyrie has been injury prone. If that continues, his big market value will decrease. If he proves that he can remain healthy for an entire season his options will increase. But, he hasn’t done that yet.

    Thus, his response is spot on. There’s a lot that can happen and needs to happen before next summer to make any long-term decisions.

    (I’m a Cavs fan.)

  14. haterhurter937 - Aug 11, 2013 at 4:10 PM

    kyrie is always hurt, doesnt matter if he stays or goes.

  15. tyronepower2 - Aug 11, 2013 at 4:20 PM

    Players have to understand the days of teams waiting for their franchise player to make up their mind in the last season of their contracts is over. Teams cannot afford to leave it up to their player to not tell them what their intentions are until their contract is up. Kyrie Irving needs to figure out what his intentions for the team are right now and tell the organization what he intends to do. Give the organization some notice alla Chris Paul with New Orleans, Steve Nash with Dallas and like in any other professional job that’s around give the company some notice so they can find a replacement for you that can do the job in your place.

    In the NBA this translates into teams being given enough notice to set up a trade that will send the player to a location which will afford the organization to have returned to them valuable assets in the players place. If Kyrie thinks the Cavs are going to go into this again the same way they did with Lebron and put their trust in the hands of immature player and not have any assurances going into this, I believe he’s sorely mistaken. Cleveland would do well to let Kyrie Irving know no what their intentions are. That if he doesn’t let them know what he’s going to do by a certain point within the season then they should go ahead and trade him for what they can get.

    It’s terrible that the NBA has developed a league where people can leave cities and places just because they want to win a championship somewhere else, or they don’t like a certain city. What the heck was the NBA draft created for anyway, and it was suppose to be like casting lots for the best players. But now players if they don’t like a certain location can do their three years and then once they’ve learned how to play in the NBA they can bounce. It’s rare to find the loyalty situation of a place like the Spurs where both players and organization are loyal to one another. Teams and players have had to adapt to the current structure and it’s workable. Cleveland learned a hard lesson the time before and lost their franchise player for nothing. This time they should do things differently.

    • Kurt Helin - Sep 4, 2013 at 12:07 AM

      Remember he is on his rookie deal. He will get a max extension offer and if he rejects that to get out of Cleveland he has to play for two more seasons on his rookie deal — they can extend him out to five seasons. Or, he can start making max money after four. Everyone, including LeBron and Kevin Love, takes the first big extension.

      Cleveland is just gun shy after LeBron, but this is a different situation.

  16. onlyavoice - Aug 11, 2013 at 5:58 PM

    Give The Rookie The Ball & Tell Him To Shoot All He Likes Because The Team Stinks.
    3rd Year Rookie (Irving) Is All Hype.
    Put Him On a Real Contender & He’d Be A Liability Coming Off The Bench.
    He Isn’t Going Anywhere & He Isn’t Going To Lead Any Team To The Promised Land.
    Another Stephon Marbury But Highly Injury Prone.

  17. 00maltliquor - Aug 11, 2013 at 7:44 PM

    After all the b.s. Gilbert pulled upon Bron Bron leaving, I hope Kyrie bolts when he can. Welcome to LAL, Kyrie.

  18. thenew013 - Aug 11, 2013 at 8:47 PM

    idk if hes still injury prone than i wont miss him that much but i would rather keep him than lose him. he is great when healthy.

  19. djveal - Aug 12, 2013 at 2:18 PM

    he gone cant wait to watch cleveland cry lol

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