Kyrie Irving hemmed, and the Cleveland Cavaliers hawed.
In the end, it all worked out.
The Cavaliers, as expected, offered Irving a max contract shortly after free agency began tonight. Whatever problems Irving had with Cleveland, he put them aside to make around $90 million.
Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert:
Irving was already locked into a $7,070,730 salary for next season, the final year of his rookie-scale deal. Gilbert reveals other details of the contract.
In giving Irving a five-year extension, the Cavaliers make Irving their designated player. That means Andrew Wiggins would be limited to a four-year extension if Irving is still on the team in three years.
It also means, by rule, Irving will receive a max starting salary with max raises.
As discussed previously, max salary is a bit of a misnomer, because there are multiple levels considered the max.
Projecting salary cap of $67,121,000 in 2015-16, Irving would be guaranteed at least $90,116,382 in a deal structured like this. The exact amount wouldn’t be determined until the cap is set a year from now.
However, Irving and the Cavaliers could negotiate a contract that pays him up to $100,882,783 if he either wins MVP or is voted an All-Star starter next season. Again, that’s based on a $67,121,000 cap projection, and the exact amount would be determined once the actual cap is set – if Irving meets one of the criteria. If he doesn’t, he’d just get the lower max.
Irving can’t officially sign the deal until July 10, and he’d have until Oct. 31. It won’t affect the Cavaliers’ cap this summer, so there’s no reason to rush – and no reason to delay.
This is as good as done.
With Irving and Wiggins, the Cavaliers have a bright future, and David Blatt has a chance to become a very successful NBA head coach. This won’t solve all of Cleveland’s problems, but Gilbert at least accomplished one major goal.
It helped that he could offer so much money, and Irving wasn’t becoming an unrestricted free agent anytime soon, anyway. There was little chance of this falling through.
Still, don’t take anything for granted with the Cavs – except them extending Irving.