Kyrie Irving To Leave Cavaliers For New York Knicks? Cavs Have Not Offered Irving Extension [VIDEO]
on Nov 04, 2013 03:33 PM EST
Young, rising NBA star Kyrie Irving may prove to be more like LeBron James than Cleveland Cavalier fans care to know.
Speculation is growing that Irving, a product of nearby West Orange N.J., has his eye on joining the New York Knicks once be can become a free agent in the summer of 2016.
"It's still a little early,'' Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert recently told reporters when asked if he's yet to approach Irving about inking an extension. "We feel good about Kyrie being here for his entire career. We have a good relationship with him. We think we've set up an environment and culture that is conducive to him being not only an All-Star, but hopefully the leader of a championship team."
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Having signed free agent center Andrew Bynum and nabbed Anthony Bennett as the top pick in the 2013 NBA draft, the Cavs are arguably fielding their best team this season since James decided to bolt for Miami three seasons ago.
But Gilbert knows it all begins with Irving. "He's a special player,'' he told the New York Daily News. "I don't even think we've seen the upside or near the upside of where Kyrie Irving can be. I think Mike Brown is going to be really helpful to him. They've really jelled together. Your head coach and leader/star/superstar relationship is absolutely critical in building a championship team.''
Understanding the scars from the James situation still remain fresh for some, Irving has been careful to say all the right things.
"It's still too early to be talking about that stuff, especially a contract extension, and all that," he told The News. "But we have a great relationship, me and Dan. It extends off the basketball court. That's about where it stands right now. We're building a culture here in Cleveland, and he told me I'm one of the guys at the forefront of it. We're building an identity here, and I want to be a part of that."