The Cleveland Cavaliers locked up their own all-star, now they are hoping to add more.
Either by developing back-to-back number 1 picks Anthony Bennett and Andrew Wiggins or acquiring a major superstar in free agency, the Cavaliers are hoping to get back into the playoffs and erase all bad memories of the Decision.
Yahoo! Sports reports that Irving and the Cavaliers represented by owner Dan Gilbert agreed to terms on a new five-year extension that will keep the highlight reel guard in Cleveland for the next six years. Terms of the deal were not disclosed but both side but it is believed to be approximately $90 million, the maximum allowable salary. The deal cannot be officially signed until July 10 but the handshake agreement serves as huge sign that the Cavs are willing to invest into the future of its developing youngsters.
While Cleveland has been mentioned multiple times as a LeBron James destination owing to his history with the team, the Cavaliers focused first on locking up their own franchise player in the 2011 Rookie of the Year.
While the first three years of Irving with the team have been both encouraging and frustrating, his young age makes it perfect for player development and to team him up with the other young guns of the franchise. Irving has not had a taste of the playoffs his whole tenure in the NBA and the management of Cleveland is hoping that this is the year the team turns it chances.
The team hired a new coach in European legend David Blatt, added another potential franchise player in Andrew Wiggins and is currently developing other young players in Dion Waiters and Tristan Thompson. This is of course hinging on the players meshing amidst reports last year of internal conflicts between Waiters who was reportedly usually clashing over alpha male status with Irving. Apart from this the team is again in transition with its third coach in four seasons.
Much of the offensive burden will still fall on Irving, who averaged 20.8 points and 6.1 assists last season. The sensational penetrator has also made two straight all-star games and was named the MVP of last year's event in New Orleans.
After months of speculation on whether he will be the next superstar to leave Cleveland for greener pastures, Irving's commitment to the team showed where his focus and heart is.
''I'm here for the long haul Cleveland!!! and I'm ecstatic!!'' Irving tweeted. ''Super excited and blessed to be here and a part of something special. (hash)ClevelandKID''