There have been these fantasies in some corners that Kyrie Irving was going to bolt Cleveland this summer to team up with Kobe Bryant or some such nonsense, fueled by reports that Irving is unhappy in Cleveland. (Something Irving has vehemently denied.)
Whether he is happy or not, he will sign this max extension that Chris Broussard of ESPN says the Cavs will offer.
Everyone signs the first max extension after their rookie deal. Everyone. All the players who have famously forced their way out of a city in recent years — LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Dwight Howard, what Kevin Love is doing now — all played at least three years under a max extension to their rookie deals. Why? Because this is life-changing money — $90 million over five years. He has make $16 million in three years, which is good but he’ll make that in a year soon. Even if he opt out of the last couple he gets more than $60 million. That’s “set my family up for generations” money. You grab that cash.
Irving would be smart to ask for an opt out in three years, to keep the pressure on the Cavaliers organization to upgrade. That gives time to see how Andrew Wiggins pans out, to see what new coach David Blatt can do with the offense, and see what new GM David Griffin can do to make the roster a contender. If things go well you stay, if not you have options.
But in the short term Irving is going nowhere. There were some reports that the Cavs might not offer the All-Star Game MVP the max money, that they thought it too much for him. But anything less than a max for Irving would be an insult, one that could destroy their relationship.
The Cavs will offer him the max and he will sign it.
Gordon Hayward is going to have surgery on his ankle and leg, which should not be a surprise to anyone who saw the gruesome injury to his leg just 5:15 into his Celtics career. There is no timetable for his return yet, maybe he makes it back for the playoffs, but the Celtics are not going to rush him and he may well miss the entire season.
What next for Boston?
In this PBT Extra I cover the three things to watch for from Boston, which in the short term could mean the Kyrie Irving show. Longer term, not much changes.
Gordon Hayward broke his leg early in his Celtics debut – a devastating injury. He’s preparing for surgery tonight, per Jeff Goodman of ESPN:
First – after a perfect introduction from Marcus Smart – Hayward addressed the Boston crowd from his hospital bed before tonight’s game against the Bucks.
What’s up everybody? Just wanted to say thank you to everyone who has sent me your thoughts and prayers. I’m going to be alright. It’s hurting me that I can’t be there for the home opener. I want nothing more just to be with my teammates and walk out onto that floor tonight. But I’ll be supporting you guys from here and wishing you the best of luck. Kill it tonight. Thanks, guys.
At least this nice moment (and an outpouring of support) came out of such a gruesome injury.
And if Smart keeps setting up his teammates so well, maybe the Celtics’ offense will keep humming.
Joel Embiid‘s minute limit of below 20 bummed out everyone (especially Embiid).
But good news could be on the way.
Keith Pompey of The Inquirer:
The 76ers look like a borderline playoff team, Embiid’s health the biggest variable. There’s a direct correlation between his ability to stay on the court and Philadelphia’s postseason chances.
Plus, he’s just so darn fun to watch. The more he plays, the bigger victory it is for every viewer not rooting for the 76ers’ opponent that night.
John Henson was on the trade block. Greg Monroe seems permanently affixed there.
Another player the Bucks apparently want to deal? Rashad Vaughn, who was the No. 17 pick in 2015.
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
Milwaukee has been working to trade several players to clear salary-cap space, including guard Rashad Vaughn and center John Henson, league sources said. The Bucks have been willing to attach a second-round pick in offers for Vaughn, league sources said.
It’s unclear whether the Bucks are still as motivated to move Vaughn. They slid under the luxury-tax line by stretching Spencer Hawes. One-time target Richard Jefferson already signed with the Nuggets. A roster vacancy and cap savings might not matter as much anymore to Milwaukee.
But Vaughn has struggled in two NBA seasons. The Bucks might be better off trying to develop someone else, even a D-League player, over the 21-year-old Vaugh.
Vaughn is due $1,889,040 this season. He faces a $2,901,565 team option for next season, which his team must decide on by Oct. 31. It seems unlikely that will be exercised.
This is what happens when you draft players for the wrong reason.