Irving signing “created momentum” to land both James and Love…
Cleveland Cavaliers general manager David Griffin has revealed that Kyrie Irving signing his contract extension “started everything” this summer.
The point guard signed a maximum five-year deal worth $90m earlier this summer, and it has now been suggested that the franchise’s plan to sign both LeBron James and Kevin Love led him to commit his long-term future.
Following on from his new deal, James then re-signed with the Cavs and helped convince former team-mates Mike Miller and James Jones to join him in Cleveland.
However, there was a significant wait until the final piece of the puzzle was added as Love arrived in a trade deal with the Minnesota Timberwolves which saw Andrew Wiggins, Anthony Bennett and a 2015 Draft pick go in the opposite direction.
With their ‘Big Three’ in tact, the Cavaliers have been installed as the favourites to win the NBA title next season, and Griffin is unsurprisingly delighted with the way things have unfolded.
“Kyrie bought in,” said Griffin, The Plain Dealer reports.
“That started everything. It created the momentum.”
Ultimately, Irving’s faith in the franchise was rewarded and he will now look to grow into a leader of the team alongside James and Love.
Experts have insisted that the offensive threat that the Cavs possess naturally makes them a contender, but there are still reservations over their ability to defend as a unit.
Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor questioned Love in that department and insisted that he would ultimately be the fall guy if Cleveland don’t success immediately. However, the 25-year-old responded by committing to winning a championship and shared his belief that the roster is good enough to succeed.
However, belief perhaps won’t be enough for the Cavs as they must be able to execute at both ends of the floor, and it will be up to new coach David Blatt to ensure that that happens over the duration of a gruelling NBA season.