The Cavaliers didn’t wait. They announced Kyrie Irving’s contract extension the moment they were allowed.
While the team, Cleveland’s fans and most of the NBA anxiously awaited a decision from LeBron James about where the free agent megastar will play next, Irving signed his new five-year, $90 million contract extension, a deal which will keep him in a wine-and-gold uniform until 2020.
The Cavs reached an agreement with Irving on the extension in the first hours after free agency opened last week. They weren’t permitted to confirm the deal publicly until Thursday, when the league’s moratorium ended.
Though signing day arrived, the biggest free agents didn’t rush to grab their pens.
Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh might be waiting on James — isn’t everybody? — before making their decisions.
Miami and Cleveland waited anxiously — as did fans lining up outside James’ Akron, Ohio home, even while he was in Las Vegas.
Knicks President Phil Jackson was hoping Thursday would finally bring a decision from Anthony.
"But I expected one yesterday and the day before yesterday," Jackson said at the Knicks’ summer league practice in Las Vegas. "But no, we’re waiting."
In the meantime, Toronto’s Kyle Lowry and Washington’s Marcin Gortat signed contracts to remain with their teams, while Chandler Parsons signed an offer that could result in a move from Houston to Dallas.
Teams and players could negotiate and agree to deals since July 1, but contracts couldn’t be signed or trades made until Thursday, after the moratorium period ended and next season’s salary cap was set.
Bosh may want to wait on the word from James to decide whether he wants to remain in Miami. Anthony was perhaps holding out in case there was some way he, too, could end up partnering somewhere with the four-time MVP.
While they wait, so do players such as Pau Gasol, Lance Stephenson, Luol Deng and Paul Pierce, who are on the next tier of free agents available.
Not everybody is waiting around. Lowry signed his deal to stay in Toronto on Thursday, which Yahoo Sports previously reported was for $48 million over four years.
Free-agent guard Steve Blake signed a two-year deal with the Portland Trail Blazers. Blake has had two previous stints with the Blazers.
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