INDEPENDENCE, Ohio -- To extend or not to extend? That is the question facing the Cleveland Cavaliers this offseason.
The Cavaliers will have the ability to offer third-year guard Kyrie Irving a max contract this summer, but according to interim general manager David Griffin, discussions about such a deal will take place in the summer.
"Because those discussions are set up in the system post-July 1, that's when they're going to take place," Griffin said earlier in the week. "There's a lot of conversation that goes into this, and the kinds of offers that people talk about you making a player, those aren't decisions made in a vacuum.
"And they're not things done without talking to players and understanding where their hearts and minds and spirits are. That's something that's going to be really important for me going forward. I think Kyrie is a player who is very much engaged in this organization, and he's engaged in getting better, and we'll go from there."
Irving played in 71 games this past season, the most of any year in his three 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 clip.
However, Irving's shooting percentage and 35.8 three-point percentage were the lowest of his career, and his relationship with fellow guard Dion Waiters was called into question throughout the year.
"In terms of their fit on the court, I think you've seen flashes of them being very, very good together," Griffin said. "What you've seen is they're part of some of our very best lineups together, but those lineups require spacing and shooting to play with them.
"They're two ball-dominant, drive-and-kick creators, and that requires an open floor, and it requires shooting. We need more of those things. It also requires the basketball IQ to play off of those players. This is not something that's done in a vacuum. It's not about their fit. It's about our fit."
Although his percentages and scoring average were down this year, Irving was the NBA All-Star Game Most Valuable Player and showed signs of improvement in the leadership department, 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. "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."