Irving signs extension with Cavaliers

CLEVELAND -- All-Star guard Kyrie Irving made his long-term commitment to the city of Cleveland and the Cavaliers organization by signing his five-year contract extension, the team announced Thursday afternoon.

In the first hours of the new league year, Irving, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, signed a reported five-year, $90 million contract that will begin after his rookie deal expires following the 2014-2015 season.

"We couldn't be happier to have Kyrie firmly at the core of our Cavaliers team and family for years to come," Cavaliers general manager David Griffin said in a press release from the team. "He's already proven he's among the best in the NBA, and we're excited to watch his continued growth and success.

"To know that he is all in and shares our high expectations and championship goals is something we're extremely proud of. It is a clear reflection of how we all view our future together, with Kyrie fully vested in this franchise and the city of Cleveland."

Irving played in 71 games this past season, the most in any of his three years with the Cavaliers. He scored 1,478 points, an average of 20.8 per game, handed out 433 assists and hit field goals at a 43-percent pace.

However, Irving's shooting percentage and 35.8 three-point percentage were the lowest of his career.

Although his percentages and scoring average were down this past year, Irving was the NBA All-Star Game Most Valuable Player, and showed development in the leadership category, according to Griffin.

"I think he's made the strides that he needs to make in terms of his openness to realizing his role as a leader," Griffin said earlier in the offseason. "He's 22 years old. We have to have very realistic expectations for him. What he's done a very good job of is opening himself up to the team and to trusting more.

"You've seen how good he can be when he plays with USA Basketball and when he trusts everyone around him. That's a difficult process when you're a young kid, and I feel like he's made really good strides in that area, and I know our staff does as well."

In 181 career games with the Cavaliers, Irving has averaged 20.7 points over 33.7 minutes per game. He has shot the ball at a 44.7-percent clip, converted 37.8 percent of his three-point attempts, corralled an average of 3.7 rebounds and dished out 5.8 assists per game.

"We are excited that Kyrie has officially committed to be here long-term with the Cleveland Cavaliers," majority owner Dan Gilbert said. "The future has never been brighter as we are building the team and franchise for sustainable success. Kyrie is obviously a very big piece of our plan."


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