Talented star could conceivably switch teams this summer.
The team surrounding Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving have made it known for years that he would like to be ‘elsewhere long term’ according to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst.
The Cavaliers are expected to offer their 21-year-old star a maximum contract extension on July 1, but if he hasn’t signed a new deal by October, the franchise could consider trading him before the October 31 deadline for third-year players to extend their contracts.
Nevertheless, Cleveland remain in a strong position as they can match any deal offered if Irving becomes a restricted free agent in the summer of 2015, while they control his rights through to the following year.
However, it is understood that the scars are still evident following the manner in which LeBron James left to join the Miami Heat in 2010, and franchise owner Dan Gilbert is keen to avoid a similar situation if his star player isn’t willing to sign a long-term extension.
Irving has made all the right noises publicly about how he sees himself in Cleveland for the foreseeable future, but with struggles on the court and the Cavaliers’ inability to consistently compete for a playoff berth, it could have negative effects on both parties.
Windhorst suggests that Irving may use his situation to his advantage when negotiating a deal with the Cavs, which would ultimately see him benefit financially even though the ESPN reporter claims that there individuals within the organisation that question whether or not he deserves a max deal at this stage of his career.
Nevertheless, perhaps the most telling part of his report, is the assumption that Irving’s ‘camp’ has been making it known “for years” that the point guard will like to be elsewhere long term.
While Windhorst did not elaborate further on who he assumes makes up Irving’s camp and what he had actually heard from them, it remains to be seen what decision Irving takes this summer.
Speculation of a return for James has dwindled as the Cavs look set to miss out on the playoffs again with a testing schedule ahead down the stretch of the regular season, with claims now suggesting that Irving may well be heading for the trade market sooner rather later.