Aug 27, 2014, 2:22 PM EST
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.
How did the Cavaliers convince him so quickly?
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.”
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.
Dec 19, 2014, 10:50 PM EST
There are a whole host of reasons Rondo was traded; this is just the most convenient for Boston’s brass.
Dec 19, 2014, 9:40 PM EST
Nice gesture by the players.
Dec 19, 2014, 8:30 PM EST
…pretty smoothly somehow
Dec 19, 2014, 7:25 PM EST
Leonard was the Finals MVP for San Antonio last season.
Dec 19, 2014, 6:45 PM EST
Warriors coach has jokes
Dec 19, 2014, 6:35 PM EST
This is the smart move by the Thunder.
Dec 19, 2014, 5:59 PM EST
It’s kind of moot now, but it’s not a surprise.
Dec 19, 2014, 5:15 PM EST
Lakers star: ‘If the opportunity came up, then that’s the time to have that discussion’
Dec 19, 2014, 4:29 PM EST
Black-and-white version of Toronto’s new logo looks similar to Brooklyn’s
Dec 19, 2014, 3:44 PM EST
President wants to see more athletes take political stands
Dec 19, 2014, 2:56 PM EST
This gives the Rockets a little more depth on the wing with Harden and Ariza.
Dec 19, 2014, 2:15 PM EST
Thunder star sprained ankle against Warriors
Dec 19, 2014, 1:40 PM EST
Miller starting against Nets in first game back from concussion
Dec 19, 2014, 1:04 PM EST
Sending Wright to the Celtics leaves major hole at backup center
Dec 19, 2014, 12:28 PM EST
Mark Cuban is too smart to pull the trigger on this kind of deal unless he has word he can keep his man.
Dec 19, 2014, 11:51 AM EST
Heat and Nets among teams that showed interest
Dec 19, 2014, 11:15 AM EST
Mavericks owner, one of many celebrities singing off Stephen Colbert, had his priorities in line
Dec 19, 2014, 10:15 AM EST
The Bulls are better off with their depth and flexibility.
Dec 19, 2014, 9:44 AM EST
Greek Freak makes diving steal again Kings
Dec 19, 2014, 9:08 AM EST
Warriors forward blows dunk, does everything else right in win over Thunder
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- Dallas moves into title contender status with addition of Rajon Rondo 42
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- Report: Celtics ‘pretty pleased’ with return they got in trade for Rajon Rondo 31
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- Reports: Celtics agree to trade Rajon Rondo to Dallas Mavericks 39
- Andrew Bogut undergoes PRP therapy on knee, out indefinitely 9