This is sure shaping up to be one epic offseason for the Cleveland Cavaliers.
By snagging their third No. 1 draft pick of the last four years, the Cavs have the chance to land a potential franchise cornerstone from one of the deepest classes in recent memory. Or they could part with the pick to land more immediate help, such as Minnesota Timberwolves All-Star Kevin Love, who is apparently available, according to The Associated Press' Jon Krawczynski.
Or Cleveland could think even further outside of its current box and trade franchise face Kyrie Irving for what would surely be a treasure trove of assets.
Irving, for everyone who's spent the past 12 months under a rock, is eligible to receive a contract extension this summer.
With two All-Star trips to show for his first three NBA seasons, there's been an assumption that the Cavaliers would hand him a max contract offer. The Morning Journal's Bob Finnan reported in April one was likely forthcoming.
"The Cavaliers are expected to offer Irving a five-year, $80 million maximum extension on July 1," Finnan wrote.
But question marks have long littered these negotiations despite the fact they may not have officially started yet.
Did Irving even deserve that type of financial commitment? Would he even put his pen to the paper if the contract was in fact offered?
ESPN.com's Chad Ford reported in January that Irving "has been telling people privately he wants out." During an April interview with Cavs: The Blog's Robert Attenweiler, ESPN's Brian Windhorst said, "[Kyrie's] camp has been putting out there for years &ndash years – that he doesn't want to be in Cleveland."
Irving has largely kept quiet about his plans.
"Twice I've given Irving the opportunity to say he'll sign a max contract with the Cavs — once last summer and once in January. Both times, he avoided the question," Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal wrote in April.
Now, questions are being raised over whether that offer will even come.
"The Cavs are making noises that they aren't going to offer Kyrie Irving 'max money' this summer," Mitch Lawrence of the New York Daily News reported. "Irving hasn't been a leader in his first three seasons and he's also gained the unwelcomed reputation as a locker-room problem. Those are two reasons the Cavs don't seem him as a max player."
There's quite a bit of smoke here, but the source of those fires is key. Neither Irving nor the Cavs have taken an official stance on the issue, and until they do, we're left to untangle a wide web of speculation.
"I wouldn't put too much stock in current rumors about whether they're not going to offer him the max or he's not going to accept it," The Plain Dealer's Mary Schmitt Boyer wrote.
For everything we think we know about these negotiations, we may know nothing at all.
It's that same uncertainty driving the Cavs to explore every option. They might not be currently inclined to deal Irving, but they have to find out what might be available should they eventually cross that bridge.
Something major is going to happen this summer in Cleveland, but it remains to be seen just what that will entail.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!