Kyrie addresses extension, offers support for Brown
CLEVELAND — Now that the Cavaliers’ season has concluded, lots of questions remain.
Owner Dan Gilbert needs to decide on a general manager, and everyone needs to find out if Kyrie Irving will sign a maximum contract extension in July. There are also questions about coach Mike Brown.
We’re not likely to have any firm answers to all of the above (and more) until the end of July. But reporters still asked, as the Cavs wrapped up the 2013-14 season Wednesday with a 114-85 win over the visiting Brooklyn Nets.
Irving has shied away from questions about whether he’ll sign a max extension, which the Cavs will most certainly offer to their two-time All-Star point guard when the time is right (July 1 or after). But he at least made an effort to address the topic head-on Wednesday.
"Obviously, I’m aware I can be extended this summer," Irving said. "It’s a big deal for me if they do offer me that. It will be exciting. I’ll make the best decision for me and my family. That’s what it will boil down to."
Irving, who finished with 15 points and five assists in 27 minutes, said he was disappointed the Cavs missed the playoffs, but "I can live with that." He said at least the Cavs went down fighting, finishing with 17 wins in their final 33 games.
"I’ve been part of this, and I want to continue to be part of this," he said. "We’ve made some strides in the right direction, especially as an organization. I want to be part of something special."
But his overall conclusion on the extension: "I don’t have a definitive answer to that right now."
Meanwhile, Brown signed a five-year contract before the season, believed to be for about $20 million. Still, his status entering next season sometimes seems iffy, based primarily on the overall disappointment of missing the playoffs.
"It’s (Gilbert’s) team," Brown said. "Whatever decision he makes, I’m going to support him."
Brown added he thinks "that team in that locker room have a chance to be a playoff team and a chance to grow together."
The coach received support from his star. Irving predicted he’s "pretty sure Coach Brown will be back" and that he’s "happy about that."
As for David Griffin, it’s still too early to tell what might become of the interim GM. Whether you think the GM has anything to do with it or not, Griffin can point to the fact the Cavs were 17-16 during his reign. Before he took over in early February, they were 16-33.
So it will be another summer of big decisions for Gilbert and the Cavs, and it may take a while before it’s all sorted out. But at the very least, Irving got it all started with some positive vibes.
"There’s definitely a lot of motivation going into the summer," Irving said. "I expect a lot from all of us."