Cavs rumors: LeBron James’ commitment would mean different Kyrie Irving trade
The Cleveland Cavaliers finally pulled the trigger on a deal that sent All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving to the Boston Celtics that netted the team a package in return headed by fellow All-Star point guard Isaiah Thomas.
However, Jason Lloyd of The Athletic is reporting that had LeBron James gave the Cavaliers the heads up that he is committed to the team long term the deal for Irving could have looked much different.
Thomas was never the focal point of these negotiations from the Cavs’ perspective, one source with knowledge of the talks told The Athletic. From the start, the Cavs made clear to the Celtics that James’ uncertain status beyond this season left them prioritizing restocking the cupboards in the event he leaves again. Cavs owner Dan Gilbert remains fixated on James’ future, one source told The Athletic. Had he gotten James to commit beyond this season, this Irving trade might have looked drastically different.
This could have changed things up drastically with the Cavaliers looking acquire a star player on a long-term deal and other players that contribute right away instead of adding a potential top-five pick in next year’s draft as being part of the move. There would be more reason to provide James more help that not keep the window for winning a title open for the upcoming season but also well beyond that.
The lack of commitment from the four-time league MVP has put the Cavaliers in the position to prepare for the potential departure of James. Although there is no certainty that will be the case, the front office has received a haul that positions them well for that situation.
What this shows more than anything else that James’ uncertain future beyond next season is having a major impact on the team’s decision-making process.