What was feared to be a long, drawn-out process actually became the quickest agreement in NBA free-agency: Kyrie Irving and the Cavaliers have reached an agreement on a maximum contract extension.
The Cavs were free to offer the contract to Irving at 12:01 a.m. Eastern on Tuesday, and that is exactly what they did — traveling to New Jersey to meet with their star point guard as soon as NBA free agency period opened.
The meeting went as well as could be expected, according to both Cavs owner Dan Gilbert and Irving himself.
Gilbert delivered the positive news by tweeting: “Looking forward to the next 6 years of @KyrieIrving in CLE. Just shook hands & intend to sign on (July 10).Can’t be more excited about @cavs…”
Irving followed with a tweet of his own a few minutes later:
“I’m here for the long haul Cleveland!!! and I’m ecstatic!! Super excited and blessed to be here and apart of something special.#ClevelandKID”
The Cavs’ traveling contingent featured Gilbert, general manager David Griffin, coach David Blatt and top assistant coach Tyronn Lue. Griffin, Blatt and Lue are all new to their roles and sources indicated they played a big role in Irving’s excitement about the future of the franchise.
The sides reached an agreement in less than two hours on a deal that will pay Irving the maximum of $90 million. The contract cannot be signed until the league’s moratorium ends July 10.
Irving, 22, is entering his fourth season with the Cavs. He has led the team in scoring in each of his first three years. He was named NBA Rookie of the Year and has made the All-Star team in each of the past two seasons — winning All-Star Game MVP honors in February.
He has compiled career averages of 20.7 points on 45 percent shooting, to go with 5.8 assists. He played in 71 of the Cavs’ 82 games this past season.