The Cleveland Cavaliers have put together one of the best rosters in the NBA this year thanks to the additions of LeBron James, Kevin Love and others but before all of that there was a huge signing that likely triggered the massive offseason the Cavs had.
Kyrie Irving signing his max extension with the team was the first major move of the summer for the Cavaliers and it very likely set into motion the rest of the summer’s moves for Cleveland. Terry Pluto believes the plan would’ve blown up in the Cavaliers face had Kyrie Irving not agreed to the max contract when he did.
Owner Dan Gilbert and Griffin talked big picture, and it had to sound more like a wild dream to Irving.
The Cavs would add Love and James. It really, really could happen, they insisted.
Really, Irving wondered.
Really, Gilbert and Griffin insisted.
But Irving had to make the first move. If he failed to sign — and forced a trade — the Cavs’ plans would turn to ashes.
The rumors about Irving’s unhappiness started in the middle of the season and persisted into the offseason and right up to the point when he signed his new deal with the team. Had he not done that, there’s still a chance LeBron comes back but it’s a lot harder to sell the Cavaliers without Irving.
There’s also no saying that bringing in LeBron James wouldn’t have been a move by the Cavs to change Irving’s mind, as the situation was likely a lot less volatile than has been reported over the course of the last year.