The Cleveland Cavaliers have received a fair bit of attention this summer with a coaching change, the first overall pick, and signing LeBron James. With so much happening, it's easy to overlook a certain 22-year-old All-Star who committed to being a franchise cornerstone for the foreseeable future with a five-year extension. Kyrie Irving opened up to Kurt Helin of ProBasketballTalk about the Cavs wild off-season and what's next.
On LeBron James rejoining the Cavaliers:
"At first you were speechless because you couldn't believe it," Irving said of finding out LeBron was indeed coming to Cleveland. "I’ve been watching LeBron for a while now and it’s nice to be going to run along side of him and be his point guard."...
"I talk to him every once in a while, I talked to him just a week ago about different pieces on the team and the things we want to do and the kings we want to accomplish," Irving said. "It’s exciting, it’s an exciting time."
The union ofIrving and LeBron is incredibly exciting and that's not even getting into all of the other great pieces that the Cavs possess. Irving is a devastating force on the offensive side of the floor that can dribble circles around almost anybody with almost unlimited range. While he had a down season last year, the introduction of someone who can draw attention away from him both on and off the ball along with an offensive-minded coach should help Irving regain and exceed his previous form.
On the flip side, Irving is without a doubt the best point guard that LeBron has played with in the NBA. While LeBron played with a Hall of Fame guard in Dwyane Wade, he didn't possess the shooting abilitty or ball handling that Irving brings to the table. Irving will be able to make things easier for LeBron and vice versa, whereas in Miami LeBron was forced to create for almost everyone around him at all times.
After the addition of LeBron James, a lot of the focus surrounding the Cavaliers shifted north to Kevin Love and the MInnesota Timberwolves. The Cavs are currently engaged in negotiations designed to bring Love to Cleveland, although whether or not they will pull it off or what they are willing to give up is to be determined. Irving spoke briefly about the possibility of adding Kevin Love:
"We all know, on and off the floor, how great of a player Kevin is," Irving said. "He’s just a great player to be around, he knows the game. You watch him on film and he does a ton of things well and obviously he would add a lot versatility out there at the four and five spot for our team. But like I said if it happens great, if it doesn't we’ll go with the pieces we have."
While Love would obviously be a massive potential addition to the squad, one large piece to the puzzle has already been added in David Blatt, who will coach his first season as an NBA head coach. It seems like he's already got a fan n Kyrie Irving:
"I'm very optimistic about the things that he does," Irving said. "The Summer League was just the icing on the cake for me, just seeing the way he ran the offense and the way he coached. He's not too hands on. He obviously is the dictator of our offense and what needs to be done, but he obviously lets players play. That's what you want as a player"....
"(There's) a lot of movement, and he also gives the players that deserve it the iso-motion and a lot of screen and rolls, his offense is tailored to the players he has."
With so much has happening this off-season it's easy to forget one of the biggest reasons this is all possible. Before the coach and the return occurred, the Cavaliers had one of the best young guards in the game declare that Cleveland is where he wanted to be. Without the presence of Irving none of this would have occurred and as we approach the 2014-2015 NBA season we will finally get to see what he will look like with a real supporting cast.