If any teams had hopes of prying LeBron James from the Cleveland Cavaliers before Thursday’s trade deadline, it seems they can disregard that possibility. James will not waive his no-trade clause and is committed to seeing this season through with the Cavs, despite the club’s recent struggles. “I owe it to my teammates to finish the season out,” James said following the Cavs’ 116-98 loss to the Magic in Orlando on Tuesday night. “I would never waive my no-trade clause.”
However, that doesn’t mean all is well between James and the Cavaliers. The Athletic’s Jason Lloyd reported Tuesday that James has “no relationship” with the team’s front office. The rift reportedly stems from James’ view that the club is not heeding his personnel requests.
James reportedly backed former Cavs general manager David Griffin, but the team let him go last summer. Lloyd also reported that James didn’t want the Cavaliers to trade Kyrie Irving, believing he could patch up his relationship with the star guard. However, the team dealt Irving to the Boston Celtics last summer, only telling James when the swap was finalized.
Cleveland has lost 14 of its last 21 games to slip into a tie for third place in the Eastern Conference with the Washington Wizards. The Cavs are 6 1/2 games back of the second-place Toronto Raptors and 7 1/2 back of the first-place Celtics. James, 33, has the option to become a free agent this offseason, fueling speculation that he will leave Cleveland for the second time in his career, without the Cavs receiving anything in return.
Per Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports, the Cavaliers have been looking to buy at the deadline and have not talked with James about the idea of rebuilding, which would mean trading away core players. James would be due $35.6 million in 2018-19 if he opts into the final year of a three-year, $100 million pact signed in August 2016.
James finished with 25 points, 10 rebounds and five assists in the defeat against the Magic. He is averaging 26.3 points, 8.6 assists and 8.0 rebounds per game across 52 games in his 15th NBA season.