Expected to be one of the more competitive teams in the Eastern Conference before the season began, the Cavaliers have floundered and are all but out of playoff contention after their latest 117-98 loss to the Atlanta Hawks on Friday.
More importantly, there have been rumors all season long about how Irving doesn’t want to remain in Cleveland – rumors Irving has denied. The most recent report, however, went even further, saying he has wanted out of Cleveland for years. Robert Attenweiler of Cavstheblog.com discussed with Brian Windhorst of ESPN:
The truth is [Kyrie’s] camp has been putting out there for years – years – that he doesn’t want to be in Cleveland. That they don’t want him in Cleveland. He doesn’t like Mike Brown. He didn’t like Chris Grant. He doesn’t like Dion Waiters. He’s already gotten a General Manager fired. He might get Mike Brown fired. This is the last time – once he signs he loses all of his leverage – so this is the last time he gets to enact leverage. I know he’s said all the right things so, fine, on July 1, when they offer a max contract – which they will – and I don’t even know if he’s a max player, but you have to sign him – sign a five year, no out. That’s what a max contract is. A max contract is five years, no out. If you want out or you want three years, that’s not a max contract. You want three years? Okay, we’ll give you $12 million a year. We’re not giving you the full thing.
I’m just giving you my feel right now and my feel is that he’s not crazy about [signing the full max extension] unless he gets everything checked off across the board.
Now, Kyrie has been very upset by this stuff but, whether he wants to acknowledge it or not, it exists out there and I’m just saying the way it is. I’m sure Cavs fans are upset about it. The Cavs are upset about it. When I’ve written about it, the Cavs have been like “Why does this stuff have to be written about us?” I say, “It has to be written about you because this could happen.”