Cavs’ goal of Kyrie Irving trade tied to fear of losing LeBron James

8:00 AM ET

As the Cleveland Cavaliers deliberate on deals to move All-Star guard Kyrie Irving, the franchise is operating under a self-prescribed mandate: presume a future without LeBron James.

The Cavs aren’t giving up on the possibility of re-signing James next summer, but they are no longer investing blind faith in the hope he will stay. For James, a reluctance to commit comes with an emerging set of complications. Beyond Irving’s decision to ask for a trade, Cleveland has determined that it’s unwilling to simply be reactive to James’ possible departure.

Of course, Cavaliers officials prefer to re-sign James to a long-term deal and chase titles together into his twilight, but the Cavs are treating his unwillingness to commit as a call to protect themselves long term in the Irving trade, league sources said.

Owner Dan Gilbert and general manager Koby Altman want James to commit before building around him, and James largely wants to see the Cavaliers execute a plan before committing to them.

Cleveland’s case for commitment is this:

Article source: http://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/20343088/lebron-future-impacts-cavaliers-kyrie-irving-trades

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