Kyrie Irving is one of the best young players in the NBA right now and the centerpiece of a Cleveland Cavaliers squad that could develop into a very good team in a couple of years. The team’s point guard was hesitant to confirm that he’d still be a Cavalier when the team’s potential meets reality, however, when he was questioned at his basketball camp this weekend.
Irving is eligible for a five-year contract extension worth $80 million next summer, but he was hesitant to talk about accepting that offer while talking to the Akron Beacon Journal’s Jason Lloyd over the weekend.
“I’m not really worried about that right now. Right now I’m focusing on the year ahead, my third year, then I’ll worry about that in the summertime,” Irving said. “Right now I’m a Cavalier. This is where I am. All that future stuff, I’m not really worried about.”
Irving’s comments obviously don’t mean that he’s intent on turning down the max offer when it’s extended next summer, but it wasn’t exactly a ringing endorsement that he plans to stay when his rookie contract ends, either. That portion has to be a bit surprising to the Cavs, considering they’ve built around him with a young team that also includes top-five picks Anthony Bennett, Dion Waiters and Tristan Thompson along with the high-impact, injury-prone Andrew Bynum in the center slot.
The Cavs wouldn’t be lost without Irving, but the young All-Star certainly isn’t easily replaceable. And, if he forces the Cavs to try and do just that, the fan base that lost LeBron James isn’t going to be happy to lose another former No. 1 pick — especially if he joins a ready-made championship team somewhere else.
NEW YORK (AP) James Harden had 22 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists in his 12th triple-double of the season and the Houston Rockets easily ended their first losing streak of the season by beating the Brooklyn Nets 137-112 on Sunday night.
Held to 105 points in losses to Minnesota and Memphis, the Rockets bounced back with 104 after three quarters and handed the Nets their 10th straight loss.
Eric Gordon led the Rockets with 24 points and Trevor Ariza added 23. Houston made 21 3-pointers and had five players with at least 16 points.
Houston shot just 40.8 percent during its two losses, well below its 46.8 season average, while being held nearly 10 points below its season scoring average. But the Rockets had no trouble bouncing back against the Nets, who allow an NBA-worst 114.3 per game.
Joel Embiid has fans all around the NBA. Some even came out to see him during the Philadelphia 76ers game against the Washington Wizards on Saturday despite the Cameroonian big man sitting out due to restrictions on playing in back-to-back games.
#BusTheProcess was the hashtag used to get 350 Sixers fans to the game in D.C. thanks to Embiid, coach Brett Brown, and the podcast The Rights to Ricky Sanchez.
Via Twitter and ESPN:
Fun stuff for some dedicated fans, even if they didn’t get to see Embiid play.
Unfortunately for the #BusTheProcess folks, the 76ers wound up losing to the Wizards, 109-93.
Michael Carter-Williams is still shaking the dust off after being inserted into the starting lineup, I guess. At least, that’s about what you can say when you pass the ball off your starting center’s face.
But there’s good news! The Chicago Bulls scored on this play.
Let’s take a look at the whole thing, shall we?
I think the more important question is whether Carter-Williams received a secondary or primary assists on the NBA.com tracking site.
ATLANTA (AP) Kent Bazemore scored 24 points, Mike Dunleavy added 20 and the Atlanta Hawks beat the Milwaukee Bucks 111-98 on Sunday.
Giannis Antetokounmpo finished with 33 points and was a tough matchup in the paint for Milwaukee, which dropped 2 1/2 games behind the fourth-place Hawks in the Eastern Conference.
Atlanta has won eight of nine. The Bucks have dropped three of five.
Dunleavy, in his second game since arriving in a trade last week with Cleveland, had his first 20-point performance since a first-round playoff game for Chicago on April 30, 2015.
Antetokounmpo has scored at least 30 points in eight games in a breakout season.