CLEVELAND – Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert hopes to keep All-Star guard Kyrie Irving around for his entire NBA career.
Gilbert, who wasn't able to re-sign superstar LeBron James to another contract in 2010, said before Cleveland's home opener against Brooklyn on Wednesday night that the Cavs hope Irving will stay and lead them to an NBA championship. The team recently picked up the 21-year-old's option for next season. He can agree to a maximum deal beginning this summer.
Gilbert said the team has not discussed its chances of holding on to Irving long-term, but the Cavs "feel good about Kyrie being here for his entire career. We think we set up an environment and a culture that's conducive to him being not only an All-Star, but the leader of a championship-contending team."
Gilbert pointed to Irving's strong relationship with coach Mike Brown, who is back for his second stint with Cleveland.