The Cleveland Cavaliers haven’t yet received a verbal commitment from LeBron James that he’ll re-sign with them after he opts out of his contract next summer, and they are planning their future accordingly.
With Kyrie Irving still wanting to be traded, according to an ESPN story, the Cavs are seeking a return that includes an “elite” young player in exchange for the star point guard. If the team was confident LeBron was staying, they’d be more willing to focus on adding veterans who can help contend for a title in the short-term.
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.
What does all of this fancy speak mean?
Basically that LeBron and the Cavs are in a bit of a stalemate.
See, the team wants to know if James is staying so it can proceed with the Irving talks…to bring in talent to win a title alongside LeBron.
But LeBron wants to know what the roster is going to look like in a year before he gives Cleveland a commitment to that long term.
Maybe James should change is number from 23 to Catch 22.