The Cleveland Cavaliers may be without Kyrie Irving for the start of the season and the point guard could be out until January, leaving Mo Williams as the starter without a trade for someone else and this comes as Tristan Thompson and the Cavs have been working on a contract extension this summer.
Irving fractured his knee in the NBA finals against the Golden State Warriors and now he could be out for a few months after the season starts. According to Cleveland.com, Chris Haynes reports that Irving could be on the sidelines for the Cavaliers until January and "chances are slim" that he will be ready for the season opener. Haynes reports that sources say that Irving's rehab is "going smoothly" but that the team will be cautious and "bring him back slowly."
UPDATE: Thompson wants a max deal and a report has him waiting until next summer to get it, as he thinks the Raptors will give him one. Check here for more.
The Cavaliers are built for the playoffs and while the regular season is important, the Cavs showed last season that being in a funk for half a season can be made up for. The Cavs as constituted at the beginning of the season were not a finals team, but trades and some other moves made the team into a contender. The Cavs did not click until mid-season and even if Irving is out for a while, the team should be fine. Yes, obviously having Irving in the lineup is a huge difference (ESPN Stats say the team is better offensively with James and Irving on the court), but Mo Williams and Matthew Dellavedova can make up for his loss.
Tristan Thompson is expected to be back with the Cavaliers, but the sides have not been able to agree on a deal yet. According to Chris Haynes, Thompson is looking for a deal over $90 million and the Cavs have previously offered a deal around $80 million over five years. Brian Windhorst at ESPN reports that the sides are in a "stalemate" over a contract, as Thompson's situation does not have a close "precedent" and that could push things into September.
James has mentioned Thompson in media appearances and he is looking for the Cavaliers to bring the big man back. Thompson was integral for the Cavs in the playoffs, as Kevin Love was lost four games into the first round series against the Celtics and did not play again for the team in the postseason. Thompson reportedly is considering signing his qualifying offer, which would make him a free agent next summer. That is unlikely, but it remains a possibility with each passing day.
The Cavaliers have been as active as any team in the league this offseason, re-signing Kevin Love, Iman Shumpert, James Jones, Matthew Dellavedova and JR Smith. The team also signed Richard Jefferson, Mo Williams and Sasha Kaun to deals and Quinn Cook could get a look in camp. Williams should start with Irving out and the team likely will not make a trade unless they need to, as Williams is serviceable and the team can bide time until Irving returns.