Cleveland Cavaliers guard, Kyrie Irving has today dispelled rumors that he is looking to leave the team when he hits free agency.
Irving is still currently in his rookie contract but holds a qualifying offer for the 2015-16 season. In recent years, there has been a trend in the NBA of young stars on mid-market teams leaving to join struggling teams in bigger markets.
The Cavaliers have first hand experience of this with the departure of LeBron James in 2010 and would be keen not to repeat the scenario with Irving, a two-time All-Star.
Irving told the Akron Beacon Journal,
"I know we're struggling, but it's not about me. It's about our team. It's about us fighting every day for each other and me fighting for my teammates."
"Yes, I'm in Cleveland. I enjoy myself. I enjoy going out and competing at the highest level for the Cleveland Cavaliers. That's what it's about. It's not about me and it's not about this controversy, ‘Do I privately want out when my contract is up?' I'm still in my rookie contract and I'm happy to be here. And I'm pretty sure I'm going to be here for a long time."
The Cavaliers have had long-standing roster issues since the departure of James. The first round draft picks of Dion Waiters and Anthony Bennett have not proved to be successful and hopeful rumors have circulated of a possible return for James.
Cleveland are currently 11th in the Eastern Conference, four games away from a potential playoff berth.