Amico: New GM Altman shows poise, hope for Cavs

Author:
Publish date:

INDEPENDENCE, Ohio -- Everything is just fine, maybe even great, and Kyrie Irving may not be going anywhere.

Those are the biggest takeaways from Wednesday's press conference involving Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert and new general manager Koby Altman.

"Kyrie is under contract, so yeah, I expect him to be in camp," Gilbert said in an upbeat tone.

Earlier, Altman referred to the Irving situation as "fluid," saying the All-Star point guard "continues to be a core piece of who we are and what we do."

Beyond that, Altman would only say that the Cavs "have been in touch with Kyrie's representation, and it's a fluid situation."

Irving, of course, has supposedly demanded a trade. Neither Altman nor Gilbert denied that part.

Overall, Altman handled his first presser with poise, obvious smarts and a fair share of smiling. If anyone wondered how the boyish-looking former NCAA Division III point guard might handle the tough questions -- well, he quickly squashed any doubts.

"I signed a former MVP on my first day on the job," he said with a smile, referring to the free-agent addition of Derrick Rose.

Altman talked more about what Rose will offer, more about where this team is headed, more about LeBron James and James' future with the franchise.

Through it all, with Gilbert at his side, Altman didn't flinch.

"The narrative about where we're at is unfortunate," he said. "This thing is not broken."

REALITY STRIKES

Here are a few facts to hold you over until the next round of rumors, speculation and occasional allegation:

1. Irving is indeed under contract for two more years (with a player option in the third year).

2. James is under contract for all of the upcoming season.

3. Gilbert admittedly has a say in what happens next. "Will I give input?" he asked. "Sure. Just like anybody in the room."

Those three things aren't necessarily related, but they are about the only facts we have to grasp.

Everything else? Well, it's hard to say.

It's easy to believe that Irving has requested a trade. It's never been denied.

It's also easy to believe that James is helping recruit free agents and offering input in trade talks.

"LeBron has been very helpful this offseason," Gilbert said.

"A magnet," Altman added.

Then the new GM again showed extreme confidence, as he addressed the team's brightest star and greatest hope.

"LeBron remains deeply committed to this organization, this team and this city," Altman said. "His goal is to remain here and compete for championships."

As for Irving, most around the league believe he is as good as gone, that the Cavs are listening to offers and strongly anticipate trading him. Many believe that wouldn't be such a bad thing.

They could get a magnificent return, and if Irving doesn't want to be in Cleveland, you move him. Or as one opposing executive said, "If he doesn't want to keep playing for championships, that's his problem."

Altman will be tasked with all of those things, with not only keeping the franchise on course, but improving it's chances of winning another title.

Based on first impressions, he clearly understands the challenges ahead -- and by gosh, Altman appears ready to handle them.