Kyrie Irving’s wait for a max contract ended up being next to nothing.
Once 12:01 a.m. hit to signal the opening of NBA free agency, Cleveland owner Dan Gilbert, general manager David Griffin, coach David Blatt and top assistant coach Tyronn Lue met with their All-Star point guard and offered him $90 million.
It signaled the start of a new era in Cleveland. With back-to-back No. 1 picks in the fray, and now with their 20-year-old star, the Cavs finally have a future and some hope.
Irving was a surprise winner of the 2013 All-Star Game MVP last February, proving he is one of the more talented and entertaining players in the world. But was criticized for his defense and leadership throughout the season. The talent is all there. Now, like the rest of the Cavs, it’s about putting it all together. And in the East, anything can happen.
After it was all over, all Irving could do was dance.
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Everyone knew Dallas would eventually give Dirk his final deal in the NBA to bring him back into the fold. Now it’s official. The two sides agreed on a three-year deal worth around $30 million. With Nowitzki at 36 years old, this will most likely be his final contract. It’s a significant pay cut and is a nearly identical contract to the one Tim Duncan recently signed with the Spurs.
Dallas is in win now mode, doing whatever it can to give the German one final run. They’re going after Luol Deng and Carmelo Anthony, and also have Tyson Chandler back to man the middle. If the team can get one more veteran to pair with Dirk, Chandler, and Monta Ellis, the team that gave San Antonio all it could handle in the playoffs last year could be looking at contender status.
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Champions are crowned in June, but their foundations are made in July. Between the NBA Draft in late June and the free agency sweepstakes in July, sometimes your favorite team develops a whole new identity for the fall. In this age of team-ups and salary cuts, it’s not always about who can offer the most. For some players, they need to see more than that. Is there a system in place? Are the current players happy there? Above all else, can they win?
Free agency is always a whirlwind, with rumors, signings, salary matches, and star player sweepstakes. Today, we’re breaking down the biggest moves and shakers of the NBA free agency period so far.
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