Kyrie Irving denies that he wants out of Cleveland, but those close to him have long made it known that he’d like to play elsewhere, according to Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com. Some members of the Cavs organization aren’t sure that he’s deserving of a maximum-salary contract, though it’s likely that Cleveland will seek to extend Irving this summer and make him its Designated Player, Windhorst writes. The starting salary in such a deal would have to be for the max. Irving may prefer to sign a shorter deal that gives him the ability to opt out and hit unrestricted free agency more quickly, as Windhorst examines in a piece that looks forward to what promises to be one of the offseason’s marquee story lines. Here’s more from the Central Division:
- Chauncey Billups hopes to make it back from a torn left meniscus this season, but he acknowledges the injury may prompt him to retire, MLive’s David Mayo observes. The Pistons hold a team option worth $2.5MM for the final season of their contract with Billups next year.
- Former Bucks swingman Junior Bridgeman is interested in buying a minority stake in the team, reports Don Walker of the Journal Sentinel, who adds that the Bucks are high on the idea, too. Owner Herb Kohl has been seeking investors willing to buy minority shares of the team. Bridgeman owns a share of the Kings that he would have to divest before buying into the Bucks.
- Mike D’Antoni spoke to Pacers assistant coach Nate McMillan about a gig on the Lakers staff before he took his job with Indiana, as McMillan tells Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News.