The Cavs have been relatively quiet on the Kyrie trade talks as of late. With a plethora of options being thrown around by multiple teams right after Kyrie’s announcement, there hasn’t been anything new reported in the last few weeks. Earlier today, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the lack of trade talks are tied to the Cavs being worried about LeBron’s future in Cleveland.
According to his report, the Cavs main focus in a Kyrie trade is to “presume a future without LeBron James.”
The process of building out the franchise’s roster long term has accelerated with Irving’s trade request. The Cavaliers have witnessed James’ exit strategy twice — once to leave Cleveland and once to return — and the Irving trade request has left them unwilling to squander the opportunity to replenish young assets on a roster that could be crippled in a post-James Cavaliers era that is stocked with high-priced veterans.
The Cavaliers find themselves far more fixated on a young star, including New York’s Kristaps Porzingis, Boston’s Jayson Tatum, Phoenix’s Josh Jackson and Denver’s Jamal Murray, league sources told ESPN.
Wojnarowski also states in this article that this doesn’t necessarily mean re-signing LeBron isn’t the Cavs primary focus or that they believe it isn’t possible. The Cavs want to sign LeBron to a long term deal, but LeBron’s hesitance to commit is what has them focusing on a future without him right now.
What makes this whole thing complicated is that LeBron will not commit to anything long term until he sees what moves the Cavs make. So, the team is gridlocked in their discussions because they don’t want to mortgage their future to sign veterans for LeBron if he’s going to leave and he won’t commit until they make a move. I obviously would prefer LeBron to stay and believe he should, but I can understand why he’s hesitant to commit to anything. As a free agent, he has every right to withhold his decision making from the public in order to ensure he can go to the best situation for him.
Right now, I guess I’d have to favor the Cavs current thought process here. Their 2011-2014 teams were so bad it was sickening to watch. I don’t think anyone wants to experience that rebuild again. They cannot try to scramble and build a team after the fact if LeBron does end up leaving like last time. It’s sad to see how close the Cavs may be to having to move on past LeBron and Kyrie, but at least it would be alleviated with some young talent and draft picks instead of getting nothing.
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