CLEVELAND — The Cavaliers locked up their best player and formally completed one trade Thursday when the NBA’s annual roster moratorium ended.
All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving signed a five-year, $90 million contract extension that he agreed to July 1, keeping him in Cleveland through the 2019-20 season. The pact will not be counted toward the team’s salary cap until it begins next summer.
Irving was chosen by the Cavaliers with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft. The Duke product is one of two players in franchise history with career averages of 20.0 points and 5.0 assists, along with four-time NBA MVP LeBron James.
“The future has never been brighter as we are building the team and franchise for sustainable success,” Cleveland owner Dan Gilbert said. “Kyrie is obviously a very big piece of our plan.”
There were questions about whether Irving wanted to commit to the Cavaliers, but he agreed to the extension immediately.
“We couldn’t be happier to have Kyrie firmly at the core of our Cavaliers team and family for years to come,” general manager David Griffin said. “He’s already proven he’s among the best in the NBA and we’re excited to watch his continued growth and success. To know that he is all in and shares our high expectations and championship goals is something we’re extremely proud of.
“It is a clear reflection of how we all view our future together, with Kyrie fully vested in this franchise and the city of Cleveland.”
The Cavaliers also made their three-team trade with Brooklyn and Boston official, one day after it became a major story around the NBA.
Cleveland sent point guard Jarrett Jack and small forward Sergey Karasev to the Nets in exchange for the rights to foreign forwards Ilkan Karaman, Edin Bavcic and Christian Drejer.
Karaman was Brooklyn’s second-round pick in 2012, while Bavcic was tabbed by Toronto in the second round in 2006. Drejer retired six years ago, but was included to satisfy the league’s complex trade rules.
The Nets confirmed Drejer’s inclusion in their news release, while the Cavaliers ignored him in their statement.
“Jarrett is a proven NBA veteran who will add versatility to our backcourt, which is an area that we had a need,” Brooklyn general manager Billy King said. “Sergey is a player who we have followed closely for several years, and will be a welcome addition to our roster.”
Cleveland also dealt center Tyler Zeller and a partially protected first-round pick in 2016 to the Celtics, who sent their 2015 second-round selection in return.
The Cavaliers will only receive the second-rounder from Boston if it falls between picks 56-60 — a highly unlikely scenario as the Celtics would have to finish with one of the five best records in the NBA. The first-round pick that Cleveland gave Boston is top-10 protected for the next three years, but would automatically transfer to the Celtics in 2019.
Boston also acquired shooting guard Marcus Thornton from the Nets, which was a necessary part of the deal as it saved Cleveland cap room and allowed Brooklyn to shed salary.
Contact Brian Dulik at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter for the latest updates @BrianDulik.
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