Kyrie Irving’s decision to request a trade from the Cavaliers presents the team with a series of tough choices. But as they go through it, LeBron James will not get involved.
According to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, James will not intervene and intends to let the Cava’ front office handle the issue. From the story:
Both the franchise and James were rocked when Irving asked the team to trade him last week. James was informed after Irving told the Cavaliers and was unaware of the guard's feelings, sources said.
Irving did talk about the meeting to several other teammates, a league source told ESPN's Dave McMenamin.
As the Cavs consider their options, sources said James has expressed to the team that he is focused on his offseason workout regimen and is planning to report to training camp with the intention of leading his teammates to a fourth consecutive Finals -- no matter who those teammates are.
This is not ideal. For one, it’s telling that James was blindsided — perhaps their are some issues between the two that aren’t fully known. But he’s also someone who, in theory, could help sell Irving on walking back his trade request. At the very least, he could talk to Irving about giving this year a shot before James makes his own choice about his future next summer.
It’s worth noting, too, that Irving talked to Kobe Bryant about avoiding a Kobe-Shaquille O’Neal type feud. This is not that bad, but it’s clear that there’s some disconnect.
It’s unclear exactly how the Cavs will approach this situation. They could very well to decide to not trade Irving, as he has two years left on his deal; he’s not yet in a contract situation where the Cavs have to deal him or lose him for nothing. If he does come back, will this affect the team’s play or morale in any way? Will the Cavs’ two most important players be fully in sync, assuming one isn’t in a different jersey next?