As soon as news broke that Kyrie Irving had requested a trade from the Cleveland Cavaliers, NBA fans flocked to the trade machine trying to figure out deals that would get the Cavs equal value for their All-Star point guard. But then there was another thought.
What if Irving's departure is a signal that it's time for Cleveland for rebuild? What if the Cavs followed up a Kyrie trade by dealing Kevin Love and maybe ... dare we even think it? Could the Cavs actually trade LeBron James to usher in a new era of Cleveland basketball?
According to ESPN's Chris Haynes, the answer is no. Even if reported new Cavs general manager Koby Altman wanted to trade LeBron, which he most likely would not, Haynes says the 32-year-old superstar would not be willing to waive his no trade clause for any team during the 2017-18 season. Via ESPN:
No matter the reconstruction of the Cleveland Cavaliers' roster, no matter the potential for heightened inner turmoil, no matter the win-loss record, and with or without Kyrie Irving, LeBron James will not waive his no-trade clause for any teams at any point during the 2017-18 season, league sources tell ESPN.
Well, it was fun while it lasted.
Though James will reportedly nix any potential trade, it's still unclear, according to Haynes, whether LeBron will exercise his $35.6 million player option to return to the Cavs after the 2017-18 season. If not he would become an unrestricted free agent, open to sign with whichever team he wants.
James, Dirk Nowitzki and Carmelo Anthony are the only players in the NBA with no-trade clauses in their contracts, and we've seen what an impediment it can be to the trade process recently with Anthony. While other teams may have pieces that may be appealing to the Knicks, they can't even waste their time negotiating with a team (or a city) where Anthony is unwilling to play.
Now the same is true for James, as any potential deal the Cavs could make has already been reportedly shut down due to his unwillingness to waive the no-trade clause.