Kyrie Irving has attained many accomplishments in his first three years in the league. The Cleveland Cavaliers’ point guard won Rookie of the Year in 2012, the three-point contest in 2013, and recently was named MVP of the All-Star game.
On Friday, during the Cavaliers blowout win against the Utah Jazz, Irving achieved something for the first time in his NBA career. Irving scored 21 points, grabbed 10 rebounds, and dished 12 assists, earning himself his first career triple-double.
Irving accomplished this task at home in front of Cleveland fans. The fans applauded Irving with multiple standing ovations throughout the game. One fan even decided to run out onto the court during the game and congratulate Irving face to face.
Cleveland’s rising star has become one of the most important faces of the NBA in just three years. There is reason to believe Irving, at the age of just 21, has still not reached his prime. A frightening thought for all NBA fans and players not wearing a Cavaliers’ jersey.
With a lot of the buzz around the NBA focusing on Irving’s quick development into a star, it is time to take a look at how good he can become and what the future may hold for him.
In my opinion, Irving, within the next two years, will become the top point guard in the NBA. Clippers point guard Chris Paul, believed to be the best in the league by many, is 28 right now. When Paul turns 30, Irving will only be 23 years old. Irving’s young explosive abilities will soon over power Paul as he ages.
Irving’s other threat to the being the best at his position is Derrick Rose of the Chicago Bulls. Although Rose is only 25, his body is breaking down. Rose has missed almost to two full seasons during his prime years. I would not bet on Rose being able to come back from two major injuries and being the same explosive player he once was.
Irving has the potential to become one the greatest ever at his position. If he can work on his consistency, there will be no limit to what he can accomplish.
Irving’s plans for the summer of 2014 and what his future will look like prove harder to predict.
This summer the Cavaliers will offer Irving a maximum contract extension. A maximum contract offer that no player in Irving’s situation has ever turned down.
If Irving decides to make history and turn down this contract he will become a restricted free agent in the summer of 2015. This means the Cavaliers can match any offer made to Irving. Irving would then become an unrestricted free agent in 2016.
Irving has made many people in the Cavaliers organization happy this season by pointing out how much he loves Cleveland and that he would like to stay put. The question is whether all this is true or just a ploy to get the media off his back about his future plans.