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Cavaliers sold Kyrie Irving on contract extension with LeBron James-Kevin Love plan

Aug 27, 2014, 2:22 PM EDT

Cleveland Cavaliers v Miami Heat Cleveland Cavaliers v Miami Heat

Throughout last season, Kyrie Irving and the Cavaliers appeared to be having problems.

There were rumors Irving didn’t want to be in Cleveland, the Cavaliers didn’t want to offer him a max contract, Irving and Waiters didn’t get along and Irving wasn’t in the loop with the team’s brass.

Irving almost definitely wasn’t going to turn down a max-salary contract extension this summer, but there seemed to be a possibility he’d take fewer years to allow his escape sooner. At minimum, he could have waited until later in the offseason to see how Cleveland built its roster.

Yet, come July 1 – when Irving was eligible to sign an extension – everything went smoothly. He agreed to terms essentially immediately.

How did the Cavaliers convince him so quickly?

Terry Pluto of The Plain Dealer:

The Cavs and Kyrie Irving met in a Manhattan  restaurant at one minute past midnight on July 1 — the first moment they could officially discuss signing a five-year, $90 million extension with their guard.

Owner Dan Gilbert and Griffin talked big picture, and it had to sound more like a wild dream to Irving.

The Cavs would add Love and James. It really, really could happen, they insisted.

Really, Irving wondered.

Really, Gilbert and Griffin insisted.

“Kyrie bought in,” said Griffin. “That started everything. It created the momentum.”

On July 1, calling the Cavaliers signing LeBron James and trading for Kevin Love “far-fetched” would have been an understatement. It seemed downright impossible.

But Irving believed, and his confidence in the organization might have played a part in LeBron’s decision to trust the franchise he once spurned, which led to Love joining Cleveland.

Of course, Irving had about 90 million reasons to stick with the Cavaliers, which makes any LeBron-Love dreams secondary. Again, though, Irving could have pushed for a shorter extension. If he was truly dismayed with Cleveland, he probably would have.

In the end, Irving’s faith was rewarded. Not only did he get his near-max contract extension, he’ll play with LeBron and Love next season. Just as Gilbert pitched.

  1. chicagosports2014 - Aug 27, 2014 at 2:25 PM


    • kobeoverlebron - Aug 27, 2014 at 5:17 PM

      spurs will still dominate the league this year cabs dont stand a chance….

      • sportsfan18 - Aug 27, 2014 at 6:26 PM

        Glad you mentioned THIS year…

        Duncan 38 yrs old
        Ginobili 37 yrs old
        Parker 32 yrs old

        LBJ 29 yrs old
        Love 26 yrs old (will be once season starts)
        Kyrie 22 yrs old

        Oh, Bulls fan here rooting for the Spurs if they’re playing the Cavs…

  2. 00maltliquor - Aug 27, 2014 at 2:41 PM


    Kyrie saw $90,000,000 on the table.

    End of story.

    They could have told him that they were planning on pairing him with Kwame Brown, Greg Oden, Shawn Marion and Vince Carter and his name would have still been drying on the dotted line.

    • bougin89 - Aug 27, 2014 at 3:00 PM

      100% agree.

      The next time a would be restricted free agent turns down a max contract extension would be the first time.

      Like you said, he was signing regardless.

    • sportsfan18 - Aug 27, 2014 at 6:27 PM

      spot on Malt, spot on…

    • enigma2742 - Aug 27, 2014 at 9:50 PM


    • 00maltliquor - Aug 27, 2014 at 10:25 PM


      You’re right and what’s your point?

  3. abovethelies2 - Aug 27, 2014 at 3:16 PM

    Interesting the league blocks CP3 trade to the Lakers because of Gilbert’s complaints but yet Gilbert some how knows that Love and LBJ are coming to Cleveland. Sounds like the league needs to do a little investigation into tampering….. Just a thought

    • limonadamas - Aug 27, 2014 at 3:24 PM

      My thoughts exactly… But for some reason the “basketball gods” have been favoring CLE ever since LBJ left them.

      • eventhorizon04 - Aug 27, 2014 at 6:55 PM

        “But for some reason the “basketball gods” have been favoring CLE ever since LBJ left them.”

        Draft lottery luck has favored them, but otherwise, they’ve been unlucky.

        Remember, the Cleveland Cavaliers didn’t want to tank for 4 full years after LeBron left. Gilbert wanted his team to be really good and win a championship before LeBron did. They fell well short of that goal.

        Plus, they’ve had some bad injury luck involving Irving and Varejao. Varejao’s health is going to be very important for this Cavs team because their center rotation is dicey without him.

      • limonadamas - Aug 28, 2014 at 4:06 PM

        The Cavs “tanked” because they whiffed on all those picks, aside from Kyrie. Doesn’t mean they haven’t been incredibly lucky, regardless. haha

  4. erking1991 - Aug 27, 2014 at 3:24 PM

    Lol everyone is so salty about my Cavs being the best team in the NBA. Championships for the next 6+ years! LBJ GOAT

    • pharohislife - Aug 27, 2014 at 3:43 PM

      Aaaah first Miami, now the dumb Cleveland fans come out, im pretty sure when LBJ went to Miami and called for 6 Championships you were one of the many mocking him when we all realized that wasn’t going to happen. So now we’ll be mocking guys like you.
      Don’t be one of those guys.

      • kinggw - Aug 27, 2014 at 4:42 PM

        Do not put this guy in the same group as Miami fans.

        I don’t recall any Heat fans on these boards or anywhere else predicting 6 rings. Foolish people like you don’t understand what a pep rally is for and four years later are still overreacting .

      • gofinsgoheatfloria - Aug 27, 2014 at 9:17 PM

        What part of the word “not” do you have trouble with? LeBron said his Heat team should win multiple championships if they took care of business. They did.

    • sportsfan18 - Aug 27, 2014 at 6:28 PM

      MJ is the GOAT

      LBJ is in the top ten all time though now and so is Duncan…

  5. 5pecialk - Aug 27, 2014 at 3:25 PM

    My @ss…

  6. jonka - Aug 27, 2014 at 3:53 PM

    Funny, before lebron people were saying Kyrie was 100% a goner and that NO ONE would be in his right mind to sign in cleveland long term.

    But now that theyve got the big 3 the trolls can change their story to “anyone wouldve taken the 90 mill to stay in cleveland”

    • bougin89 - Aug 27, 2014 at 4:40 PM

      Anyone thinking with any rationality thought Irving was staying in Cleveland if they offered him a max deal(before the Lebron and Love acquisitions). You don’t want to be in a situation like Greg Monroe and Eric Bledsoe…which would have been Kyrie next year if he hadn’t accepted this max offer.

      • eventhorizon04 - Aug 27, 2014 at 6:52 PM

        The only people who thought a young player with Kyrie Irving’s medical history would turn down $90 million guaranteed to instead play for a qualifying offer were desperate fans of other teams, like the Lakers, who were hoping to lure him to sign.

        Obviously, saying they could get Love and LeBron helped a lot, but young players never turn down their first $80+ million offer unless their team is offering them less than the max.

      • bougin89 - Aug 28, 2014 at 12:05 PM


    • BrownsTown - Aug 27, 2014 at 9:23 PM

      Yep, making it up as they go along….

  7. phinagain - Aug 27, 2014 at 5:40 PM

    Why would Cleveland have even thought it was a real possibility? Were they selling a pipe dream? Tampering?

    So funny how Miami puts together a super-team and it’s all “tampering” this and “pep rally” that.

    Now Cleveland puts together a super-team and it’s all “we just believed we could” this and “welcome home celebration” that.

    Reality check: nothing is different about this year than 2010. Except LeBron was born in that general area so now everything is sunshine and roses.

    Wake up people: it’s not the prodigal son returning to “give back to the community.” He returned all right, but only for the same reason he left. Plus now he’s a demi-god instead of a super star.

    • eventhorizon04 - Aug 27, 2014 at 6:49 PM

      Agreed. Clever PR move by LeBron to pretend he was coming home to undertake a 3-4 year development of the Cavs’ young personnel, when in reality, the Cavs were working to trade much of their youth for Kevin Love, as well as trying to sign veterans like Mike Miller, James Jones, and Ray Allen.

      LeBron left one roster with All-Stars for a different roster that has younger All-Stars, and he convinced people he was making a sacrifice because he loved Ohio so much.

      • zoomy123 - Aug 27, 2014 at 7:48 PM

        I’ve come to the conclusion that you’re an idiot. I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone lie about something as often as you have lied about the age of the Cavs team. The Cavs have 5 players 25 years old or younger, but you insist that they traded away “much of their youth for Kevin Love.” Why can’t you stop lying about this issue? What compels you to lie when everybody with a brain can so easily point out the lie? Very weird…

    • BrownsTown - Aug 27, 2014 at 9:25 PM

      Victim complex….

  8. thetooloftools - Aug 27, 2014 at 6:25 PM

    We are blessed that he signed and LeBron came home and we traded for Love, but this is Cleveland. We need a parade. We need to take our welts then wear the belts. The “son”came home. He needed to go away to learn how to lead. God works in mysterious ways.

    • sportsfan18 - Aug 27, 2014 at 6:31 PM

      Nothing mysterious about leaving a terrible owner…

      he found success, won titles and then poof, his two all stars got older and injured…

      the scene back at home with a young all star and knowing that Love the way LBJ did and his situation made Lebron “see” the light and return home…

      No Kyrie and Love with 2 or 3 more yrs left on his deal in Minny and LBJ would not have returned home…

      I am a Christian and do believe that God works in mysterious ways, but LBJ coming home wasn’t mysterious… at least not to me.

    • gofinsgoheatfloria - Aug 27, 2014 at 9:28 PM

      He needed to go away to get a post game.

  9. eventhorizon04 - Aug 27, 2014 at 6:43 PM

    Of course.

    People have been saying this for awhile – Did anyone REALLY think LeBron (and his publicist) “accidentally” forgot to name Andrew Wiggins and Anthony Bennett in his Sports Illustrated article when talking about the young players on the Cavaliers he wanted to mentor?

    Trading for another star player has been the plan for awhile.

  10. Mr. Wright 212 - Aug 27, 2014 at 6:56 PM

    More evidence of collusion.

  11. timpiker - Aug 27, 2014 at 7:41 PM

    Tampering and collusion. Period. Move on. Nothing to see here sheeple.

  12. urodaddy07 - Aug 28, 2014 at 12:05 AM

    I guess it would be far-fetched unless there was a pre-existing “informal” understanding with LBJ and/or K. Love.

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