The Cavaliers will offer the full 5-year maximum extension to star point guard Kyrie Irving, reports Terry Pluto of The Plain Dealer. Sources tell Pluto that, contrary to rumblings of Cleveland’s hesitancy to extend the offer, there has never been any doubt in the Cavs front office about trying to lock up Irving. The Cavs will extend their offer as soon as the negotiation window allows on July 1, when players and teams are first permitted to begin talking.
The Plain Dealer scribe says that the Cavs hope to have a coach in place to discuss the future with Irving at that time, hoping the 20.7 PPG career scorer will commit to the team for the long haul. The Cavs plan to continue to build toward a plan for the future centered on Irving unless he demands out of Cleveland or declines signing the extension.
Irving has had a tumultuous first three years in the NBA after being selected No. 1 overall by Cleveland in the 2011 draft. While he has exhibited the offensive talent that made him worth that selection, the team has failed to make the playoffs or even finish with a .500 winning percentage. Last year’s disappointing 33-win Cavs team was actually the best of the Irving era, and the fallout from a disastrous Andrew Bynum signing, a historically bad rookie year for 2013’s No. 1 pick Anthony Bennett, and continued losing resulted in the mid-season firing of former GM Chris Grant and ex-coach Mike Brown’s dismissal after the season.
Despite the ugly season, Irving is reportedly pleased with the decision to make GM David Griffin the permanent executive after Griffin’s strong run as interim GM during the season. Irving has publicly refuted persistent rumors that he wanted out of Cleveland, but he has stopped short of guaranteeing he will re-sign for the years ahead. Griffin is a believer in the backcourt pairing of Irving and Dion Waiters, and the team experienced a relative turnaround once Griffin took the reigns to foster a positive culture around the two ball-dominant guards.