|2011 NBA Draft
|Drafted 1st overall by Cleveland.
|9th December, 2011
|Signed four year, $23,198,010 rookie scale contract with Cleveland. Included team options for 2013/14 and 2014/15.
|19th October, 2012
|Cleveland exercised 2013/14 team option.
|23rd October, 2013
|Cleveland exercised 2014/15 team option.
|10th July, 2014
|Signed a five year maximum value contract extension ($94,343,125) with Cleveland. Included player option for 2019/20.
|22nd August, 2017
|Traded by Cleveland to Boston in exchange for Ante Zizic, Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, a 2018 first round pick and a 2020 second round pick.
|2010 - 2011
|June 2011 - August 2017
|Cleveland Cavaliers (NBA)
|August 2017 - present
|Boston Celtics (NBA)
June 29, 2018
PG - 6’3, 193lbs - 26 years old - 7 years of experience
Ultimately, this season for Kyrie will be remembered for the injury.
When he was healthy, everything went well. Kyrie was again amongst the best players in the league, a fearsome scorer and ball handler, a (marginally) improved defender, and everything the Celtics both hoped and knew he would be. It very much helped matters that the implosions of both Isaiah Thomas and Jae Crowder in Cleveland made the trade look even better than it was; either way, Irving’s fit in Boston when healthy was a complete success. He seemed to be a popular presence on the team, too.
Unfortunately, though, the injury ruined what had at that point looked to be an open championship window. While Terry Rozier is pretty good, he is not, and will not ever be, close to this good. And so that was that.
Shooting 49.1% from the field and a .610% true shooting percentage as a point guard on a volume of shots like this speaks to elite talent. Having a centre like Al Horford and a wing triumvirate like Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum and Gordon Hayward is to have the perfect complement of help for that talent. All he needs to do now is get that knee right again, and it’s on.
Irving wanted out of Cleveland in order to exercise his own form of player power, take control of his own destiny, join a team (essentially) of his choosing, become The Man on it, and win in another way. And it looks as though it is going to work out ideally for him.
Player Plan: Two years and $41,428,941 remaining, the last year of which is a player option that he will absolutely not exercise. Extension eligible, but he won’t take it, given how much more money he can earn by re-signing next summer. Offer it anyway, because it looks better. Optics, etc.
June 29, 2017
PG, 6’3, 193lbs, 25 years old, 6 years of experience
Ridiculous handle, ridiculous finishing ability, ridiculous scoring talent in the half court, some wildly overconfident moments, not much defence. It will do.
Player Plan: Three years and circa. $60.3 million remaining, with a player option for 2019/20. The future, with or without LeBron.
April 13, 2017
The Cavaliers blew that Hawks game for a lot of reasons. LeBron's tiredness was one, their lack of depth another. Ultimately, though, the breakdown of their team dynamic was the key factor in how they gave up 59 points in 17 minutes and imploded on international television. And to that end, Kyrie Irving must take a lot of responsibility.
During the fourth quarter and overtime, Irving took a lot of bad shots. This is something he has started to do with increasing regularity, particularly at the end of games. Seemingly buoyed by the ridiculous, headlining shots that he made to win last year’s Finals, Irving now treats every close game as such. It is hard to remember a single pass he made in the fourth quarter and overtime of the Hawks game, aside from a couple of bad ones that led to turnovers. He wanted all the glory. Which means he must shoulder the burden of blame.
Taking bad shots in the fourth quarter relies on some luck, even with two great shot-making talents. Clamming up down the stretch of games is normal – a folly of the human condition, albeit a somewhat baffling one given that all our lessons in efficiency and team play do not suddenly stop being effective just because the clock got low – yet clamming up that badly is not. Kyrie’s continued desire to Heroball his way out of the clammy patches does more harm than good. Those shots, as good as he is, required a lot of luck. And why rely on luck? Making a few does not justify it. If it was the right way to play, why did the Cavaliers not do it for the first 36 minutes?
June 25, 2011
This is a particularly galling year for Dickie to be missing, for it's going to be a Duke laden draft. Kyrie Irving is the clearcut number 1 pick, and any pretense that says that a decision was still being made is what we in England refer to as "bollocks." Irving is the most complete player in the draft, and it is inevitable that he will be picked first.
Nevertheless, we are forced to dance the will-he-won't-he dance for a while. Indeed, a huge chunk of the half an hour preview show is dedicated to the Cavaliers drafting Irving, both talking about how great it will be, and how uncertain it all still is. ESPN went as far as sending Jeanine Edwards all the way to Ohio to go and stand outside the Cleveland war room, where the Cavaliers do the chivalrous thing and make her stand outside without telling her anything whatsoever. This all proves to be somewhat worth it for everyone except Jeanine, when Jon Barry claims that Cleveland "don't even need a point guard," subsequently invoking the names of Baron Davis, Ramon Sessions and Boobs Gibson. Jon Barry started as he meant to go on tonight.
Pick 1: After having 38 days to decide who to pick first overall, Cleveland are given five minutes to finalise a decision, which obviously they completely need. Jeff Van Gundy goes out of his way to tell Cleveland fans not to compare Kyrie Irving to LeBron James. They weren't. Jon Barry again cites the presence of Baron Davis as a hinderance. It isn't. Indeed, Baron has been nothing but good for Cleveland - acquiring his contract, and the unprotected pick that came with it, is what got them Irving in the first place. And if they really want to get rid of it later on, the inevitable amnesty clause would allow them do to so. If only the Clippers had thought of that.
Irving is finally selected, and he exchanges six alpha hugs with those around him, one of which is Derrick Williams. He is greeted by a very talkative Stern, geed up early from a round of vociferous booing, and is ushered off to meet Mark Jones, who is so far to the left of the stage that he's not even on it. Meanwhile, Heather Cox interviews Irving's dad, former Simpsons boxer Drederick Tatum, a moment that causes yet another forced LeBron comparison that no one is making. It goes without saying that Kyrie is not LeBron. But he is the most complete player in the draft, and he just went 1st overall. That feels normal.
Due to Irving's not-exactly-thoroughbred-but-it-counts Australian heritage, Australia is now one of only two non-US nations to have had two number 1 overall picks, the other being Nigeria, which can boast Hakeem Olajuwon and Michael Olowokandi. Michael Olowokandi was a bust, but drafting Michael Olowokandi would have been better that gifting the pick away for nothing, like the Clippers just did. I don't think enough is being made of this. They traded the first overall pick in a salary dump. They didn't even want the two players they got back, Jamario Moon and Mo Williams. This is much worse than the Otis Thorpe/Darko Milicic deal of 1997 and 2003. We must stress this more.
June 22, 2011