Cleveland Cavaliers All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving is convinced that teammate LeBron James leaked to the media his request for a trade. Based on his sources, Stephen A. Smith of ESPN said that Irving and his representation met with the Cavaliers two weeks ago and asked for a trade. After that, no word about his request came out until recently. Smith said James probably found out about the meeting and was frustrated about it, leaking it to members of the media.

However, Smith clarified that he was not accusing James of doing it, but he insisted that that’s what Irving believes.

According to Dan Feldman of NBC Sports, James probably leaked details of the meeting to deny Irving, a smooth exit from the Cavaliers. The leak will also affect Irving’s trade value, forcing the Cavaliers to accept a deal even though it will not be commensurate with Irving’s talent and potential.

Sources close to James said the superstar felt blindsided when he received information about Irving’s request. The two became close when James returned to Cleveland in 2014. Together, they spearheaded the team to three straight Finals appearances and won an NBA title in 2015. However, they failed to win a second straight title last season after succumbing to the Golden State Warriors in five games.

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James vents his frustration on Instagram

Earlier, Irving asked the Cavaliers for a trade, saying he wants to become the No. 1 offensive option for a team and not play support to a superstar like James. He also gave the Cavaliers his preferred trade destinations, including the New York Knicks, San Antonio Spurs, Minnesota Timberwolves, and the Miami Heat. In an apparent response to Irving’s trade request, James posted two songs of rapper Meek Mill on his Instagram account with lyrics apparently addressed to his teammate. James first posted a Mill’s song entitled “Wins & Losses” and followed it with “Heavy Heart, the lyrics of which were indeed directed at Irving.

LeBron will not leave Cavaliers for duration of 2017-18 season

Chris Haynes of ESPN said that James would not waive his no-trade clause for the 2017-18 season, meaning he will stay with the Cavaliers next season no matter who his teammates are and notwithstanding what their win-loss record will be. However, it is unsure if James will remain with the Cavaliers or bolt to another squad in 2018. James can become an unrestricted free agent if he declines the $35.6 million player option for the 2018-19 campaign.

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