The Cleveland Cavaliers are in the thick of much of the trade-deadline chatter buzzing about these days. Talk of moves to improve the roster are often thought of as two-fold: first, to help the Cavs make a fourth straight NBA Finals appearance and, two, to show superstar LeBron James that the team remains serious about contending.
Here’s more from Cleveland.com’s Joe Vardon, who was on hand for James’ comments on Tuesday night:
“I’m here for the long haul,” James said after a 116-98 loss to the Orlando Magic. “I’m here for this season right now, try to figure out ways we can still compete. I couldn’t give up on my teammates like that. I couldn’t do that. I just couldn’t do it.
“I owe it to my teammates to finish this season out no matter how it ends up. I would never waive my no-trade clause.”
There has been no indication publicly that Gilbert wants to trade James, and a team official said last month James was the one player the Cavs absolutely would not deal.
As for James’ future, there are many considerations beyond basketball — such as family and where his children (his oldest son is in seventh grade) may attend high school. And of course there is the basketball side, where can James best continue to chase championship rings.
James can opt out of his contract this summer and enter free agency. Some teams around the league have reportedly wondered about James dropping the no-trade clause in his contract. Charania reported earlier Tuesday, though, why James isn’t going to waive his no-trade clause:
As NBA teams do their due diligence on his no-trade clause and the potential of him dropping it, LeBron James remains determined to see the season through in Cleveland and will not waive the clause, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
Cleveland has attempted to behave as a buyer at the trade deadline, but the first approach toward a possible rebuild would be to examine trading the team’s core players — a conversation the Cavaliers have yet to broach with James, and both sides understand his position to play the season out, league sources said. Over the past several days, several teams around the league have openly wondered about whether Cleveland would look into James dropping his no-trade — which would clear the way for a potential pursuit.
James signed a three-year, $100 million contract in 2016 to return to the Cavaliers, which included a no-trade clause, and he remains solely focused on competing for a championship in Cleveland this season.
James has publicly stated he will evaluate his free agency after the season ends.
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