Like in any other team sport, the player ultimately ends up leaving if that is his/her wish. We live in an age where players, and not owners/management, have a greater control over sports. Great players are the ones who usually end up bringing in extraordinary television contracts and sponsorships for their teams. As a result, they are also most likely to control their fates, even in a league like the NBA where players can get traded against their will and in any moment.

The latest example will soon be that of superstar Kyrie Irving's trade away from the Cleveland Cavaliers and LeBron James.

The four-time All-Star is still under contract with the Cavs for at least two more years. Normally, Cavaliers management should see no reason to trade such a valuable player under such contractual circumstances. However, the scenario is quite different because Irving recently requested to be traded, according to ESPN's sources.

Irving-James dynamic

Irving wants to move away from James and be the face of a different franchise. The Irving-James relationship seems to be broken, as Irving sees in LeBron's control over the Cavaliers one of the main reasons why he wishes to leave. Irving also believes that James or his camp leaked the news of his trade request. On the other hand, ESPN's Stephen A. Smith reported that James felt blindsided and had mentioned that he could physically confront Irving if he was in front of him.

LeBron-drama is more alive than ever. Consequently, the Cavaliers have no choice but to avoid elevating any tensions between the two next season and rather simply trading Irving before the start of the season.

Kobe-Shaq dynamic

The Kobe-Shaq dynamic serves a blueprint for different reasons. Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal's relationship reached a point of no return in their final year together with the Los Angeles Lakers.

They were not able to win a championship together in that final year, and the Lakers ultimately decided to choose to stay with Kobe and trade Shaq for very little in return.

The Cavaliers need to act now if they want to acquire several valuable assets in return for Irving. In addition, they have a chance to make James happy and encourage him to stay past next season by bringing in a superstar, or several stars, that he would enjoy playing with.

James is surely not as patient and loyal as Kobe was.

Irving's value

ESPN's Wojnarowski thinks the Boston Celtics and Phoenix Suns are the two teams “with the best ability to make deals for Irving.” The two teams have many talented young players and draft picks that could content the Cavaliers. But the Cavaliers should not settle for merely youth or draft picks if they want to convince LeBron they can continue to win right now.

Irving is probably a top-ten player in the NBA. He is definitely the best ball-handler and finisher under the rim in the league. In addition, James will surely miss him, especially down the stretch in games. But it looks like Irving has made up his mind, and when a player of Irving's caliber decides it is time to leave, then his team should simply avoid enlarging the problem and rather move on as soon as possible