No matter the reconstruction of the Cleveland Cavaliers' roster, no matter the potential for heightened inner turmoil, no matter the win-loss record, and with or without Kyrie Irving, LeBron James will not waive his no-trade clause for any teams at any point during the 2017-18 season, league sources told ESPN.
James, Dirk Nowitzki and Carmelo Anthony are the only players with no-trade clauses. James holds a $35.6 million player option for the 2018-19 season, which means he could elect to test unrestricted free agency next summer.
In regard to that scenario, a decision has not been made.
The four-time MVP winner, according to sources, is focused solely on competing for a championship as a member of the Cavs and will fulfill his contractual obligations, whatever unexpected circumstances may arise.
Irving's request for a trade has put the franchise in a distressing position considering it has gone to three straight NBA Finals and captured one title in that span. The Cavaliers are very much in win-now mode, but they face the arduous task of seeking to obtain close to equal value if they trade Irving.
If the Cavs find the most profitable suitor, the process of developing and sustaining continuity begins, and it automatically puts the likes of Golden State and San Antonio laps ahead in that area from the onset of the season. Furthermore, Boston, Toronto and Washington continue to knock on the door of Eastern Conference supremacy.
ESPN reported that James is disappointed with the Irving development, and Cleveland.com reported that he was frustrated by owner Dan Gilbert sabotaging the front office and a lack of offseason moves. However, sources are adamant that James is committed to leading the team with the personnel the organization imports to training camp in September.
His primary focus is next season, an entire season with the Cavs in pursuit of another championship.