Can July 2017 just end for the Cleveland Cavaliers? Please?
Whether it’s David Griffin’s departure, Dan Gilbert stalling on hiring another general manager, or Kyrie Irving asking for a trade, among plenty of other things, the mood around the Cavs seems to be like a cup half empty (with a leak), not a cup half full. Even with this roller coaster of an offseason that has been filled with many more valleys than peaks, LeBron James will not waive his no-trade clause in what could be his final season in Cleveland, per ESPN’s Chris Haynes.
One of three players who have a no-trade clause, the other two being Mavericks’ Dirk Nowitzki and Knicks’ Carmelo Anthony, James bargained for the right to control his own fate, as the league’s best player should. No matter what turmoil continues, no matter what the team’s record is this season, no matter who else is on the team, No. 23 has the control to continue to be a Cavalier the entire season.
Some Cavs fans seem to think that Cleveland should trade No. 23. Yes, that’s right. They believe that the Cavs should trade the best player in franchise history (arguably league history), the one that brought Cleveland its first championship in 52 years, the one that put the Cavs back on the map, the one that has made the Cavs title contenders no matter who the other 14 players are on the roster. With his 2018 free agency (and potential departure) looming, this season could be James’ last in Cleveland. But, why would the wine and gold ever trade the King? He not only puts butts in the seats, but imagine how most fans would react if the Cavaliers were to trade James, no matter who they may get in return.
James has just one thing on his mind this upcoming season: to bring a second championship back to Cleveland. No matter who is on the team, No. 23 knows that his talent alone can get the Cavs back to the NBA Finals for the fourth-consecutive summer. Although the Cavs’ offseason has been quite the roller coaster, James has always had the ultimate goal atop his list of goals every single season and nothing will ever change that.
Although many seem to think that James will leave the Cavs next summer, there’s potential that he could re-sign with the team. Not only so that he remains in the weak Eastern Conference that has only gotten worse this offseason, but to stay home, in Akron, Ohio. He came back not only to win a title in Cleveland, but to return to his hometown and do so much for his city off the court. That alone will play into James’ decision a year from now.
Being the highest paid player in the league could also be a goal for James going forward. In order for that to happen, he must remain with the Cavs so that he continues to have Bird Rights. If he signs with another team, his max contract cannot be as high as others around the league who have stayed with their respected teams. But, no matter what he decides, James fulfilled his promise to Northeast Ohio, and nothing can ever take that away.