LeBron James has made the headlines again though most of it was not his doing. His name unceremoniously cropped up when Kyrie Irving surprising sought for a trade.

Irving apparently wants to be the main guy once more, something that may no longer happen in Cleveland. He has requested a trade with several teams mentioned as possible destinations. That list includes the Miami Heat, New York Knicks, San Antonio Spurs and the Minnesota Timberwolves. As of this writing, there is no clarity on where “Uncle Drew” will end up.

Who is to blame?

The obvious person to blame for Irving’s desire to jump ship is James.

It hardly comes as a surprise since the former took a step back to make things work. The partnership, which includes Kevin Love, has produced only one title so far. At any rate, winning one (rather than none) and it seems that it will stay that way moving forward.

Irving and Love are imminently exiting, meaning James may have to carry the Cavs on his shoulders for the coming season. He does hold a $35.6 million player option for the 2018-19 NBA season, meaning he can opt out and test unrestricted free agency next summer.

How about a trade this coming season? Similar to the deal with his friend Carmelo Anthony, James has a no-trade clause. With the Cavs falling apart, a potential scenario would see James being offered to other teams.

Why trade James?

Many would ask why the Cavs would trade James between now and next summer. The easy answer is that the Cavs want to make sure they don’t end up empty. With James secure, the only way Cleveland can do that is if the four-time MVP waives that clause.

The latest word on that is James does not have any intention of waiving that part, meaning he is sure to finish the 2017-18 season in Cleveland.

After that, it is anyone’s guess what he decides. He is turning 33 and reaching the twilight of his career. If he exercises the player option, there is a chance he would seek a longer deal – possibly the last one unless he discovers something he has not yet achieved in the sport.

That team could be the Cavs or some other team which holds good chances of winning an NBA title.

There are now developing teams headed in that direction. That list includes James’ former team (Miami Heat), Los Angeles Lakers or even the overstuffed Boston Celtics.

James does have options but all that sinks in after this season. If he struggles to carry the Cavs next season, he may find himself in the same vote of Anthony whose stock took a significant hit with the Knicks.

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