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.