The Cleveland Cavaliers are in a tough spot when it comes to honoring the trade request of Kyrie Irving.
If they keep the disgruntled point guard they are very likely to lose him for nothing when Irving is eligible for free agency. They also run the risk of Irving fully alienating himself from the team and his teammates, causing a rift in the locker room and compromising team chemistry moving forward.
But trading Irving away comes with it’s risks for the Cavs as well.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports that the possibility of LeBron James leaving next offseason in free agency is a major factor in the tam’s trade talks regarding Irving.
Wojnarowski notes that the Cavs aren’t giving up on the possibility of re-signing James next summer but the team is “no longer investing blind faith in the hope he will stay.”
While team execs and ownership want to see James commit long-term so they can build around him, James wants to see a team plan executed before doing so.
Cleveland hasn’t found much traction in their high demands in return for Irving. The have targeted the likes of New York Knicks center Kristaps Porzingis, Boston Celtics rookie forward Jayson Tatum, Phoenix Suns rookie wing Josh Jackson as well as Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray.
Wojnarowski pointed out that Boston has interest in Irving and also noted that they have could offer the best return for Irving.