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.
With so much focus in recent weeks being on NBA players speaking out on social issues, it’s worth remembering that Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has been one of the most vocal athletes in America on these things for decades. The Hall of Fame and all-time leading scorer in NBA history addressed the Democratic National Convention on Thursday evening, urging voters to vote for Hillary Clinton in November, and opened his remarks by introducing himself as Michael Jordan, because “Donald Trump couldn’t tell the difference.”
You can watch the video of his speech below:
In the weeks since Kevin Durant announced he was signing with the Golden State Warriors, we have yet to hear Russell Westbrook speak on his former teammate’s decision. This week, ESPN.com’s Royce Young indicated in a podcast interview that Durant was telling Westbrook and others in the days leading up to his decision that he was coming back to Oklahoma City. He later walked back his report, saying he misspoke. On Thursday, Durant himself told The Vertical‘s Shams Charania that he never said any such thing, or misled Westbrook or anyone else about his intentions.
“It’s false,” Durant told The Vertical on Thursday. “I didn’t say that – words about me telling Russell or Nick that I would stay or leave never came out of my mouth. We met as teammates, but no promises came out of it. In this day and age, I can’t control anything people claim out there. Someone can go out and say something random right now, and people will believe it.
“I never told Russell or Nick [Collison], ‘All right, guys, I’m coming back to the Thunder’ – and then a week later, I decide not to. Never happened. I don’t operate like that. I heard people say that story, but it’s not the truth.”
So that settles that.
CHICAGO (AP) The Chicago Bulls have signed guard Spencer Dinwiddie.
The Bulls acquired Dinwiddie in a trade with Detroit last month and waived him three weeks ago. He spent two years with the Pistons and appeared in 12 games last season, averaging 4.8 points and 13.3 minutes.
The Bulls announced the move Thursday.