Upon finishing out the third season of his rookie contract, Irving will be eligible for an extension, at which point The Morning Journal's Bob Finnan says the Cavs will give him tens of millions of reasons to commit long term.
"The Cavaliers are expected to offer Irving a five-year, $80 million maximum extension on July 1," he writes.
That's a lot of cash. It's cash the Cavs were always going to offer Irving, their No. 1 pick from 2011 and franchise cornerstone. And it's cash that will force Irving to make the decision he's spent the last three seasons barreling toward.
Does he want to stay in Cleveland?
Answers to that question vary daily. Rumors have run amok this season. One day, he's unhappy. The next day, he's fine.
Most recently, ESPN's Brian Windhorst told Cavs the Blog's Robert Attenweiler that Irving wants out, and has wanted out for a while:
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.
Heavy stuff—none of which actually points to Irving's departure.
For what it's worth, Irving also took to Twitter denying such allegations:
At least be man or woman enough to come and ask me. There's no such source as "Kyrie's camp", nothing but nonsense.— Kyrie Irving (@KyrieIrving) April 5, 2014
Superstars on their rookie deals typically re-sign with their incumbent team. It's the smarter financial play. By putting pen to paper with the Cavaliers, the point man will be earning eight figures per year with annual increases by 2015-16.
If Irving wants out, he would have to jump through multiple hoops, all of them presoaked in kerosene and inevitably set ablaze.
First, he must refuse to sign an extension with the Cavs this summer and at any point before next season's Oct. 31 deadline. Then he must finish out next year and avoid restricted free agency.
Whatever offer Irving receives from another team, the Cavs would match. If he still really wants out by that time, he'll have to accept the team's qualifying offer and play through 2015-2016. After that, he would enter unrestricted free agency, with absolute control over where he plays next.
What will become of Kyrie Irving's future in Cleveland?
All of this is assuming the Cavs don't trade him before then should he choose not to sign an extension. That course of action must be explored if he's not ready to commit.
But that's also assuming Irving even wants out. He hasn't copped to any of the rumors. All signs still point to him remaining in Cleveland.
"Sick to my stomach with all these rumors and accusations," Irving said on Twitter. "Can I play without media guessing at my life and putting B.S out for headlines."
Absolutely. Just as soon as you give them a reason to stop.
*Salary information via ShamSports