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Report: Cavaliers brass in transit to offer Kyrie Irving max deal at midnight

Jun 30, 2014, 3:29 PM EDT

Cleveland Cavaliers v Houston Rockets Getty Images

There have been these fantasies in some corners that Kyrie Irving was going to bolt Cleveland this summer to team up with Kobe Bryant or some such nonsense, fueled by reports that Irving is unhappy in Cleveland. (Something Irving has vehemently denied.)

Whether he is happy or not, he will sign this max extension that Chris Broussard of ESPN says the Cavs will offer.

Everyone signs the first max extension after their rookie deal. Everyone. All the players who have famously forced their way out of a city in recent years — LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Dwight Howard, what Kevin Love is doing now — all played at least three years under a max extension to their rookie deals. Why? Because this is life-changing money — $90 million over five years. He has make $16 million in three years, which is good but he’ll make that in a year soon. Even if he opt out of the last couple he gets more than $60 million. That’s “set my family up for generations” money. You grab that cash.

Irving would be smart to ask for an opt out in three years, to keep the pressure on the Cavaliers organization to upgrade. That gives time to see how Andrew Wiggins pans out, to see what new coach David Blatt can do with the offense, and see what new GM David Griffin can do to make the roster a contender. If things go well you stay, if not you have options.

But in the short term Irving is going nowhere. There were some reports that the Cavs might not offer the All-Star Game MVP the max money, that they thought it too much for him. But anything less than a max for Irving would be an insult, one that could destroy their relationship.

The Cavs will offer him the max and he will sign it.

  1. spursareold - Jun 30, 2014 at 3:32 PM

    I think we should name any extension for a very effective to star level player that is less than the MAX as a Kahn/Love insult contract.

    • kinggw - Jun 30, 2014 at 4:01 PM

      Too much is made over that contract. It’s not like Love would’ve stuck around anyway. Even if Love got the full five years, he probably still would’ve angled for an opt out.

      People seem to believe that since Westbrook signed a deal with no opt out, Love would’ve done the same. After the 2012 season the Thunder were coming off of a Finals loss the T’Wolves were coming off a 26 win season. People are nuts if they didn’t think an opt out clause would’ve been added. Love was always going to walk if Minny didn’t improve exponentially, the contract issue just gives him a “reason” so he’s not seen in the same light as LBJ or Howard who left their teams for greener pastures.

      • Kevin S. - Jun 30, 2014 at 5:08 PM

        They’d still have one more year before Love could leverage his way out. That’s one more year to bring it together like Portland did to make LaMarcus Aldridge happy.

      • kinggw - Jun 30, 2014 at 5:16 PM

        If he had an opt out clause, which he would have, that extra year becomes irrelevant.

      • Kevin S. - Jun 30, 2014 at 6:42 PM

        The opt out would be one year later, though. This deal was three plus an option. The five year deal would have been four plus an option (new CBA doesn’t let you have a PO and an ETO). Thus, an extra year before Love can use the opt-out as leverage.

    • therealhtj - Jun 30, 2014 at 8:25 PM

      If Love signed his deal, and Kyrie’s about to do the same, then there’s no one who’ll ever leave their dumpster fire of a franchise when they’re staring at a rookie max extension. At least not until they change the CBA.

  2. tjr324 - Jun 30, 2014 at 3:39 PM

    Lebron didnt force his way out of Cleveland. He signed with different team as a free agent, something players do every year

    • eugenesaxe1 - Jun 30, 2014 at 8:22 PM

      Actually he was traded, if we’re picking nits.

  3. yesser12 - Jun 30, 2014 at 3:46 PM

    Not worth max unless he improves defense and leadership.

    • felser - Jun 30, 2014 at 4:18 PM

      and offensive efficiency.

  4. willardj - Jun 30, 2014 at 3:57 PM

    You don’t pay max money to a point guard. Even if they’re as good as CP3, point guards never win you championships. In addition, Kyrie is a bit overrated and isn’t a great team leader as evidenced by the turmoil in the Cavs locker room. Even a great team guy like Luol Deng couldn’t stand it. Even if Kyrie matures and improves his all-around game, this deal still won’t be worth it. The Cavs are better off trading him for picks and then building around Wiggins.

    • dewangibson - Jun 30, 2014 at 4:09 PM

      You have point guard confused with NFL running back. If you have two great players, regardless of position, you’re a contender in the NBA. And building around Wiggins is just silly at this point. We have no idea if he’s a star.

      • willardj - Jun 30, 2014 at 4:47 PM

        Since 1990, an NBA team has never won a championship with its point guard as the highest paid player. That’s a fact.

      • sportsfan18 - Jun 30, 2014 at 5:08 PM


        Until THIS season…

        SPURS Tony Parker was their HIGHEST paid player…

        That’s a fact!!!

      • unxpexted1 - Jun 30, 2014 at 5:08 PM

        ^^^how that comment got thumbs down makes no sense.

        It’s true when you think about it. Most championship teams don’t have great point guards. Above average ones, yes, but not great. As long as he is smart and can control the offense, thats what you need from your PG. Not 25 and 10, which is what you would be paying your star player to do. PG’s shouldn’t be your best player.

      • willardj - Jun 30, 2014 at 5:16 PM

        Ok, so in the span of 25 years of the modern NBA, only ONE TEAM has won a championship with its point guard being paid the most by a slim margin (due to duncan accepting a reduced contract).

  5. djshnooks - Jun 30, 2014 at 4:00 PM

    “He has make $16 million…”

    “Even if he opt out…”

    Did you drop out of middle school?

    • sportsfan18 - Jun 30, 2014 at 5:10 PM

      Nah, he opted out of middle school…

  6. sportsfan18 - Jun 30, 2014 at 5:15 PM

    to many of the comments on here about Kyrie and the max…

    we all have known they draft for potential now and many times the potential is NOT realized…

    they gamble on a higher ceiling over a higher known ceiling coming out of college. they are playing lotto, but with much better odds of course.

    used to be only true max players got them and everyone knew they should

    but for awhile, they now give out max contracts to players with the potential to turn into max players even though they are NOT max players when they are given their max contracts…

    sad, but true.

    also, it depends on a team. if a so called “bad” team (Wolves, can you say Cavs and Kyrie?) has a player that is close, but isn’t a max player, they have to offer him the max.

    bad teams, teams in small, cold markets have to overpay to get or keep stars…

  7. midnite2020 - Jun 30, 2014 at 5:17 PM

    so Chauncey billups wasn’t the highest paid player on the pistons championship team? or how about Parker for the spurs?

  8. antistratfordian - Jun 30, 2014 at 5:39 PM

    Pumping out the max at midnight. I do that often.

    • boctavious - Jun 30, 2014 at 7:27 PM

      ^—to lebron james pictures

      • antistratfordian - Jun 30, 2014 at 7:40 PM

        Yea, that’s it. And my greatest fear is my wife with luminol and a black light.

  9. chiadam - Jun 30, 2014 at 8:54 PM

    The league will continue to lose half of a season every five years or so until they accept that not every team’s best player is a max player. It’s ridiculous. Irving is a nice enough player. He is NOT a max player. He will never be the best player on a team that wins a title, nor will he ever be the reason a team wins a title, which is what a max player should be.

  10. chiadam - Jun 30, 2014 at 8:57 PM

    He has make $16 million in three seasons…

    I mean….really. Did anyone on this site even take a course or two in college?

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