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The BG News
BG24 Newscast
September 29, 2023

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Questions rise from basketball program’s intentions

The Cleveland Cavaliers are looking to solidify their team for the upcoming years with attempts to re-sign their star player and find a new head coach.

CBS Sports reported on Monday that the Cavs have full intentions to sign their point guard Kyrie Irving to a max contract come July 1, the earliest day allowed for NBA extensions. The max deal for the 22-year-old star would include a salary in the 90 million range over the course of five years.

Although Irving has talent, the decision to sign him to a max deal is widely surrounded by uncertainty around the NBA and its fans. A deal like this would make him the team’s richest player, and in turn the team would undoubtedly be his. This is problematic, considering he has been the Cavs’ best player since he got drafted in 2011 and the team has continued to underperform both on and off the court.

What comes into question is Irving’s ability to lead a team. This past year it was no secret that the locker room (which he will lead next year assuming this deal goes through) was broken and nobody ever seemed to get a handle on it.

In addition, Irving’s assist numbers are not as high as you’d expect from a max deal point guard and his commitment to defense has never been his strong suit.

Theoretically, nobody would have a handle on the leadership skills of Irving better than Cleveland management. However, it is clear that the team needs a leader. Their other top prospects, Dion Waiters and Tristan Thompson, could use that leader and true court general to maximize their potential. Rookie Anthony Bennett, who underperformed as the number one overall pick, could also benefit from having true guidance from the team’s best player.

The last huge key point that people would want to look at, should this deal be finalized, is how Irving will mesh with the Cavs’ next choice with the number one pick in the upcoming draft. It is widely suspected that Joel Embiid, Andrew Wiggins, or Jabari Parker will be selected. Each of these players’ NBA potential is through the roof with the assumption that they are well coached and are decently comfortable with their team. Irving will be a main factor in that.

The Cleveland team will also be interviewing former Cavs star Mark Price for the head coaching position on Tuesday. Price, who is currently an assistant coach for the Charlotte Hornets, is the Cavs’ all-time leader in assists. three-pointers made, and free throw percentage. He will be the sixth interviewee for the position since the firing of former head coach Mike Brown. Cleveland hopes to have a coach hired before the sit down with Kyrie Irving come July 1.

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