Even with Kyrie Irving requesting a trade from the Cleveland Cavaliers, LeBron James will not waive his no-trade clause to leave the team.
The Cleveland Cavaliers offseason has been, in a word, peculiar. With the club almost landing Chris Paul and Paul George in a trade this offseason and Kyrie Irving now demanding a trade.
Only three players in the NBA have no-trade clauses; Carmelo Anthony, Dirk Nowitzki and LeBron James. We know Anthony is looking to get out and Nowitzki just re-upped with the Mavericks, so he isn’t going anywhere. You can add James to the Nowitzki side, per ESPN’s Chris Hynes who reports James won’t waive his no-trade clause.
James has a player option for 2018-19 at $35.6 million, so if he wants to leave and play for another team, he can just decline the option.
No one should expect him to change his mind during the season either. Why? If a team is trading for James they are going to have to give up a war chest of assets including first round picks and players to trade for him to appease the salary cap. When James gets to a club, he’s going to need supporting pieces around him and other stars in order to win a ring. A trade would deplete that roster so badly, that once James got there, they wouldn’t have enough to win a championship and that is all that matters to him.
The Cavaliers have only added Jeff Green and Jose Calderon, with former draft pick Cedi Osman coming into the league after being a draft and stash player, while giving Kyle Korver an extension. GM David Griffin was shown the door and the Cavaliers promoted Koby Altman to GM just two days ago. Meanwhile, the Golden State Warriors got Jordan Bell in a draft day trade and added Nick Young and Omri Casspi while retaining Kevin Durant, Andre Iguodala and Shawn Livingston.
This offseason has not helped the Cavaliers catch the Warriors and despite Irving’s trade demand, James won’t be demanding a trade of his own or accept one either.