Cavs owner Dan Gilbert on Kyrie Irving: 'Sure, we expect him to be in camp'

Kyrie Irving received his championship ring from Dan Gilbert. (Getty)
Kyrie Irving received his championship ring from Dan Gilbert. (Getty)

Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert and new general manager Koby Altman addressed the Kyrie Irving situation on the record for the first time Wednesday, and dodged all questions about Irving’s trade request, but Gilbert did say he expects Irving to be in training camp with the Cavs come September.

“Right now Kyrie Irving is on a contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers for two or three years, depending on the last year,” Gilbert said. “So as of now, he’s one of our best players; sure, we expect him to be in camp.”

Read into Gilbert’s words as much as you please. But make sure to understand the context. Gilbert had to say this. He was asked whether he expects Irving to be in camp when the team reports. Any answer other than some form of “yes, we expect him to be here” ruins any and all leverage the Cavs have in trade talks with the NBA’s other 29 teams. So don’t put too much stock into Gilbert’s statement.

Gilbert earlier had confirmed that he met with Irving and Irving’s agent, and said the group discussed “several scenarios,” but refused to get into the details of the meeting, and did not confirm Irving had requested a trade. “We talked about a wide range of possibilities,” Griffin said.

Altman also declined to get into specifics, and said the situation is “fluid.” Griffin’s answer about training camp was a throwaway line at the end of the news conference.

Altman also said the social media– and anonymously sourced report-fueled talk of a falling out between Irving and LeBron James has been “overblown”:

“The people that have been in this building everyday haven’t seen any of that animosity,” Altman said. “A lot of that I do think is overblown, and we haven’t seen a lot of this animosity that’s been out there in the media.”

Gilbert opened the news conference by introducing Altman as the team’s new general manager. Altman, the former assistant GM, takes over for David Griffin, whose contract Gilbert refused to renew in June.

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