HoopsHype Kyrie Irving rumors

January 31, 2014 Updates

Kyrie Irving said he enjoys being in Cleveland and playing for the Cavaliers, but stopped short of saying he'll take a max contract offer if he's presented with one this summer. ESPN's Chad Ford reported earlier Thursday in his weekly chat that Irving has privately told people he wants out of Cleveland. "There’s been so much so-called reports coming out that I don’t want to be here. That’s what you guys get paid to do, but that’s just so much negative attention," Irving said following the Cavs' 117-86 loss to the Knicks. "I know we’re struggling, but it’s not about me. It’s about our team. It’s about us fighting every day for each other and me fighting for my teammates. Akron Beacon Journal

"Yes, I’m in Cleveland. I enjoy myself. I enjoy going out and competing at the highest level for the Cleveland Cavaliers. That’s what it’s about. It’s not about me and it’s not about this controversy, ‘Do I privately want out when my contract is up?’ I’m still in my rookie contract and I’m happy to be here. And I’m pretty sure I’m going to be here for a long time. I’m not saying anything to tell the future, but I’m pretty sure the relationship I have with Dan Gilbert and management extends off the court. I enjoy being here." Akron Beacon Journal

So when he said “I’m still in my rookie contract and I’m happy to be here. And I’m pretty sure I’m going to be here for a long time,” I’m sure it sounded swell to a lot of fans who were clamoring for him to say something along those lines. But I gave him another chance to say he’d accept a max contract extension from the Cavs this summer and he again refused. That’s twice the topic of a max extension has come up and both times he refused to say he would take it. “It’s still too early to say. I’m still trying to get through this season,” Irving said tonight. “Everybody is trying to antagonize this team and put it on me … I’m here for my teammates, I’m here for Coach Brown and the coaching staff and I’m going to play my heart out every single night for the Cleveland Cavaliers.” Akron Beacon Journal

You don't need any inside info, just read Irving's demeanor recently. Just when he was expected to take the third-year leap that so many stars before him have made, Irving seems to have played much of the season with a frown. His stats are down, but more troubling his effort level and leadership have been inconsistent, to say the least. This traces to what seems to be a growing displeasure with coach Mike Brown, who he has not clicked with in the least. Irving is unhappy with how Brown runs the offense and Brown is unhappy that Irving's interest in the defensive end has eroded massively in recent weeks. ESPN.com

This of course cuts both ways, the Cavs haven't exactly been thrilled with everything they have seen from Irving in recent months. He has acted very much like a 21-year-old at times. And while he may not be thrilled with Brown, the Cavs coach has to have been taken aback by Irving going through periods of ball hogging and the absence of interest in giving defensive effort at times. That sort of play from your best player can undercut any team. ESPN.com

January 30, 2014 Updates

Kyrie Irving lay on his stomach, headphones on, watching tape before the Cavaliers' game against the New York Knicks on Thursday night at Madison Square Garden. He declined to talk to reporters, so he did not address a report by ESPN.com's Chad Ford that he was telling people privately he wanted out of Cleveland. Cleveland Plain Dealer

Q: How hot are the collective seats of Chris Grant and Mike Brown? And who do you think the Cavs are most likely to target at the deadline? Chad Ford: Virtually every GM in the league believes that Grant will be gone this summer if things don't get turned around this season. He doesn't have much time. The thinking is that there's no way Dan Gilbert is going to let him make another lottery pick if that's the direction the Cavs end up heading. Grant's goal (via his owner) is to get this team competitive and into the playoffs. The Deng move was supposed to help. But so far ... nothing. Chemistry is a major issue there and some of that is on Mike Brown. But more of it is on the collection of players in Cleveland at the moment. Something has to happen quick. Kyrie Irving has been telling people privately he wants out. Cleveland can't afford to lose him and LeBron. They know the urgency. I expect them to be major players at the deadline. ESPN.com

January 29, 2014 Updates
January 27, 2014 Updates

But the looming question hanging over this game, this franchise, is simple: Who will Kyrie Irving be when he returns from New Orleans? Something changed within Irving last season, and it coincided with his return from All-Star weekend. It was evident to anyone around the team, particularly former coach Byron Scott, who told me in the days before he was fired, “I haven’t changed, but he has.” Akron Beacon Journal

That doesn’t account for all the times Augustin simply beat Irving off the dribble, but he’s not alone. Just within the last three weeks, here are the point guards that have really hurt the Cavs: Denver’s Ty Lawson had 19 points and 11 assists (averages 18 ppg, 8.9 apg), Portland’s Damian Lillard had 28 points and 5 assists (averages 21.2 ppg, 5.8 apg), the Lakers’ Kendall Marshall had 10 points and 16 assists (averages 10.1 ppg, 9.1 apg), Sacramento’s Isaiah Thomas had 26 points and 6 assists (averages 19.5 ppg, 6.3 apg), Utah rookie Trey Burke had 17 points and 6 assists (averages 13.5 ppg, 5.6 apg) and Philadelphia’s Michael Carter-Williams had 33 points and 5 assists (17.5 ppg, 6.7 apg). Akron Beacon Journal

Part of the problem was Irving being anointed the Big Man on Campus immediately upon arriving. He hasn’t been held accountable much the last couple years. That has festered into what we’ve seen this year, which is too much dribbling, at times a lousy attitude and a 21-year-old who has shown his immaturity. Akron Beacon Journal

Two opposing general managers this season have told me they think Irving is pouting. Over what is anyone’s guess. Jarrett Jack hasn’t been the locker room enforcer he was supposed to be. Luol Deng should help, but he just arrived and may not be here past April. That has left Mike Brown trying to keep everyone in his “circle” despite what has been a disappointing season. Akron Beacon Journal

January 25, 2014 Updates

He’s the defending champ, and he would like an encore performance. Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving said he would “absolutely” accept an invitation to the 3-point shootout during All-Star weekend in New Orleans. “There have only been a few back-to-back champs,” Irving said. “My goal is to accomplish what Larry Bird did, which is win it three years in a row. “If they ask me to come back, I’ll definitely come back.” News-Herald

January 24, 2014 Updates

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