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Report: Cleveland Cavaliers do not want to offer Kyrie Irving max contact

May 24, 2014, 10:37 PM EDT

Kyrie Irving Getty Images

If the Cavaliers want to see how not offering the full max contract extension to Kyrie Irving would end, they should watch the Kevin Love saga unfold this summer (Minny’s GM at the time refused to offer Love a fifth year, one of the many problems in that relationship). Minnesota is going to lose its cornerstone player, and they pretty much have to trade him for less than equal value to get anything back in return.

Irving has some maturing to do as a team leader but the 22-year-old averaging 20.8 points and 6.1 assists a game, the All-Star Game MVP, is a clear max player, and he is eligible for that extension this summer.

And the Cavaliers may not want to give it to him, reports Mitch Lawrence of the New York Daily News.

The Cavs are making noises that they aren’t going to offer Kyrie Irving “max money’’ this summer via a long-term extension. They don’t want to deal the 2014 All-Star Game MVP, but it could come to that, especially if the West Orange product and his family continue to tell people that he wants out. Irving hasn’t been a leader in his first three seasons and he’s also gained the unwelcomed reputation as a locker-room problem. Those are two reasons the Cavs don’t see him as a max player.

“He was just handed too much, too soon,’’ said one source. “You’ve got to make these young guys earn it, and that’s where this team did a bad job with him.’’

Irving may need to mature, the Cavaliers may need to bring in some authority-commanding veterans to lead that locker room, but you have a 22-year-old All-Star point guard, one who is a gifted scorer and floor general, and you can pair him the No. 1 pick in a good (not transcendent, but good) draft. Be smart with the pick and you have cornerstones for building a future contender.

Unless you blow it.

There has been some buzz that Irving wouldn’t sign a max extension, but he basically shot that idea down. Everyone signs the max extension after their rookie contract (everyone — LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Dwight Howard and everyone else who forced their way out)… unless you don’t offer it.

This report flips that story on its head.

I wonder if the Cavaliers look at whoever they draft No. 1 and decide not to offer Irving the full five years of the max (you can only have one of those active at a time in the new CBA) and think they are going to offer him four years instead.

Which is what the Timberwolves did to Love. He signed it. But how did that work out?

  1. muathjam21 - May 25, 2014 at 2:58 PM

    Good, but not a great player. You have to be on a certain level as a point guard to garner a max contract, IMO. He’s also not a great face of the franchise type, has durability concerns, and every two weeks someone from his camp is threatening the Cavs that Irving will eventually leave Cleveland.

    If I were the Cavs I’d look to trade him, quite honestly. Irving for the Lakers’ 7th makes some sense. Draft Joel Embiid at 1 and Marcus Smart at 7 and build around those two.

    • spursareold - May 25, 2014 at 8:59 PM

      Uh, he’s an All Star PG and former #1 overall. I wouldn’t take anything outside of the top 3 picks this year.

      • muathjam21 - May 25, 2014 at 9:22 PM

        He’s also inconsistent, disgruntled, has a history of injuries and is documented to be a poor locker room presence. Oh – and there’s also the threat of him bolting Cleveland the first chance he gets.

        So yes, I’d pull the trigger on that trade if I were Cleveland. Add Embiid and Smart to Bennett and Waiters and see what you can build.

  2. tv63 - May 25, 2014 at 4:28 PM

    NEW YORK DAILY NEWS!! Felton is out and Knicks need a new PG so let’s spread some lies to stir the pot. After all NYDN doesn’t think the majority of people will figure out Cleveland isn’t a part of New York.

  3. hauts81 - May 25, 2014 at 7:17 PM

    Nobody will admit it because they hate the guy but David Kahn got it right with Kevin Love. He’s not a max player. Neither is Irving.

  4. jeffkx - May 26, 2014 at 9:11 AM

    I think before the lottery they would have given Kyrie the 5 year Max player. Now, I think they’re saving it for this upcoming draft pick.

  5. bhinrichs9 - Jun 12, 2014 at 2:23 PM

    Screw competitive basketball, I guess we will just put all the best players on one team and have like 4 teams.

    Rose
    Wade
    Lebron
    Melo
    Bosh
    vs
    Paul
    Westbrook
    Durant
    Aldridge
    Dwight

    2 other teams with the rest in other major markets.

    This is all a joke by the way. My favorite Reg season games to watch the last two years has been Melo trying to outbattle the Heat.

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