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Irving set to sign extension deal with Cavaliers

CLEVELAND -- Kyrie Irving says he plans to sign a five-year contract extension with the Cleveland Cavaliers when the NBA's free-agency signing period officially begins later this month.

The Australian-born Irving, who was the MVP of the league All-Star Game, averaged 20.8 points, 6.1 assists and 3.6 rebounds per game last season.

“I'm here for the long haul Cleveland and I'm ecstatic. Super excited and blessed to be here and a part of something special,” Irving said via Twitter.

The negotiating period started on July 1. Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert sent a message via Twitter of his intentions.

“Looking forward to the next 6 years of @KyrieIrving in CLE. Just shook hands & intend to sign on the 10th. Can't be more excited about @cavs,” Gilbert wrote.

Teams may strike verbal deals with players, but nothing is official until the contracts are signed after July 10.

The first overall pick of the 2011 draft, Irving is expected to sign a deal worth US$90 million over five seasons, which would keep him with the Cavaliers through the 2019-20 season. He was already signed through the 2014-15 season at just over US$7 million.

Signing the 22-year-old point guard will give the Cavaliers a solid duo of Irving and Canadian Andrew Wiggins, who was the top overall pick from this year's draft.

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