In my newfound attempt to branch out from my focus on the Miami Heat and find interesting storylines from across the NBA, I offer the following description of the case of Kyrie Irving, the star point guard of the Cleveland Cavaliers who is rumored to be unhappy with his current team.
Cleveland Cavaliers basketball fans had their worst nightmare realized when LeBron James left the state of his birth and took his talents to the South Beach in the summer of 2010, where he has gone on to reach the NBA Finals in three consecutive seasons with the Miami Heat, winning two championships and vying for more.
The scars of James’ departure four years ago are far from healed. And yet, now, Cavs fans are being forced to deal with speculation as to the possibility of losing its new star, Kyrie Irving.
Irving’s four-year rookie-scale contract, signed in December of 2011, runs through next season. That’s more than a year away. But the Cavs will get better insight into his intentions far sooner than that.
That’s because NBA rules stipulate that an extension to a rookie-scale contract can only be executed from the day following the July moratorium preceding the player’s fourth season to the following October 31. This is a confusing concept, so let’s reiterate: an extension to a rookie-scale contract must be executed before the player even plays the final season of his rookie-scale contract.
For Irving, the window begins this coming July 10. If he hasn’t executed an extension at some point between July 10 and October 31, he would no longer be eligible for one. He’ll have to wait until the summer of 2015 to sign a new contract.
The Cavs will certainly offer Irving a maximum contract extension once they’re allowed to on July 10, and if he hasn’t signed it by the end of October, they’ll know he’s not wholly committed to his current franchise, and his fate will become a constant distraction for the Cavalier organization for the entirety of next season.
But the Cavs aren’t without significant leverage. Read more…