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NBA Rumors: Cavs Won’t Offer Irving the Max?

The Cavaliers aren’t going to offer Kyrie Irving a max contract? … HEAT assistant David Fizdale isn’t pursuing a head coaching job … Cross Brian Shaw off of the Knicks’ wish list

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Cavaliers May Not Offer Irving a Max Contract?

The Cavs are making noises that they aren’t going to offer Kyrie Irving “max money’’ this summer via a long-term extension. They don’t want to deal the 2014 All-Star Game MVP, but it could come to that, especially if the West Orange product and his family continue to tell people that he wants out. Irving hasn’t been a leader in his first three seasons and he’s also gained the unwelcomed reputation as a locker-room problem. Those are two reasons the Cavs don’t see him as a max player.

via Mitch Lawrence of the New York Daily News

This would be a mistake for the Cavaliers, as Irving has shown that he’s one of the best young point guards in the league and the face of their franchise. He’s more deserving of a lucrative contract than some players who have signed for the max, especially when you consider that he just turned 22 years old and still has a lot of room to grow.

Yes, Irving has reportedly told some people in his inner circle that he wants to leave Cleveland at some point, but the Cavs should lock up Irving for as long as they can. Trading him would be a mistake, as it would be nearly impossible to get equal value for him and rebuilding would be tough. Acquiring a star is one of the hardest things to do in the NBA, so teams don’t like to part ways with one unless they have no choice. Also, it’s not like Irving has much leverage, even if he is disgruntled and wants out.

In order to become an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2016 (the earliest he could do that), Irving would have to sign for the qualifying offer next summer, play out the 2015-16 season on a $9,191,949 salary and delay his big payday by at least one year. Walking away from a lucrative, multi-year deal to play on a one-year deal just to become unrestricted would be a huge risk and he could ultimately lose a lot of money if he were to get injured.

The smarter move (that every star makes) is to become a restricted free agent. This means Cleveland can match any offer sheet that Irving receives and keep him in town.

Cleveland should try to repair the relationship with Irving, and giving him a max contract would be a good start. If Irving isn’t disgruntled now, he certainly would be if the Cavs were trying to low-ball him in extension talks. And, at the end of the day, they’d likely end up paying Irving the max anyway since it’s obvious some team out there would extend a max offer sheet to Irving should he hit the market.

Fizdale Not Focusing on Head Coach Jobs

And yet amid such speculation about outside interest, including the most recent whispers that have him linked to the Cleveland Cavaliers’ vacancy, David Fizdale has dug in and insists he isn’t looking to go anywhere. So once again amid a deep Miami Heat playoff run, Fizdale has found himself trying to quell an opponent and quiet rumors. “There have been no contact, no conversations, nothing like that,” Fizdale said of the coaching swirl that again has him in the vortex. “Quite honestly, Spo gets very annoyed with me, because he’s like, ‘Why don’t you care about being a head coach?’ And I’m like, ‘Cause we’re in the playoffs.’ “And I just don’t think about it. I don’t even know what jobs are open.”

via Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Every offseason, Miami HEAT assistant coach David Fizdale’s name surfaces as a candidate for a number of head coaching jobs, but so far he hasn’t been handed the keys to his own team.

Well, according to Fizdale, a big reason for that is because he’s not really pursuing those positions. With Miami playing in the last three NBA Finals, he has been extremely busy when most teams are conducting their head coaching search and interviewing candidates.

Fizdale said that he hasn’t had any contact with teams about the current openings, and he claims he doesn’t even know which jobs are currently up for grabs. Fizdale said that Erik Spoelstra “gets very annoyed” that he doesn’t pursue some of these jobs, because he believes Fizdale would be a great head coach.

Fizdale’s name will continue to surface and, at some point, he’ll likely become an NBA head coach. It’s only a matter of time.

Cross Shaw off of Knicks’ Wish List

Denver isn’t going to allow Brian Shaw to come to New York in case Phil Jackson can’t land Derek Fisher, even if the Knicks offer compensation. “We didn’t hire Brian for a one-year position with our team,” the Nuggets’ team president, Josh Kroenke, told me. “We see Brian being with us for years to come.”

via Mitch Lawrence of the New York Daily News

Shaw made similar comments when asked if he would leave the Nuggets for the Knicks, saying that he wanted to remain in Denver. However, rumors of Shaw landing in New York continued to surface due to his close relationship with Jackson.

Now, with Kroenke making it clear that Denver wouldn’t let Shaw out of his contract even if the Knicks offered compensation in the form of picks or cash, you can cross Shaw off of the list of candidates in New York.

Denver hired him because they believe he has excellent potential as a coach and are excited to watch him develop. They want him to be around for the long haul and help the franchise become a contender.

Alex Kennedy is the Managing Editor of Basketball Insiders and this is his 10th season covering the NBA. He is a member of the Professional Basketball Writers Association.

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