While many could have thought that Kyrie Irving's trade lifted a weight off LeBron James' shoulders, many NBA executives seem to be thinking differently. The Cavaliers understood that the LeBron-Irving relationship had reached a point of no return. The Cavs hope that ridding themselves of Irving and still receiving a lot in return (Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic, and the Brooklyn Nets' 2018 unprotected first-round pick) can convince LeBron to stay past next season.

According to Ric Bucher of Bleacher Report, different NBA executives believe LeBron's situation has not changed and he will leave Cleveland next year and head to the Lakers.

His apparent reasons include "setting up his post-playing career in TV and movie production, attempting the unique feat of leading three different teams to a championship and creating a path to an ownership stake in the Lakers." "He's out," said a Western Conference scout, and one Eastern Conference general manager added, "Foregone conclusion."

LeBron, the mogul

LeBron James wants to become a mogul, and there is no better place to build on that dream than in Los Angeles. James is already working with a variety of companies and moguls. His latest success is his multi-platform media company called Uninterrupted. At age 32, LeBron is looking at the bigger picture more than ever. "It's all more about life after basketball than anything else," one Eastern Conference GM said.

LeBron cannot play basketball forever, and if he intends to continue building his business empire, especially his media business, then he might have no choice but to spend some more time at his house in Los Angeles. The Lakers would surely welcome him with open arms, and their president of basketball operations, one Earvin 'Magic' Johnson, is a business mogul who would be happy to lend LeBron some tips.

About LeBron's ownership aspirations, Bucher reported that some league executives believed the Lakers could offer LeBron some sort of ownership opportunity as part of their pitch. That offer, however, will not be able to be part of his potential contract, but Magic and Jeanie Buss could find a way to reach a verbal agreement with James for the longer term.

Winning with three different teams

No NBA player has led three different teams to the NBA championship. LeBron has won two titles with the Miami Heat and one with the Cleveland Cavaliers. With Irving's departure, the future looks blurry in Cleveland, especially if we take into account that these Golden State Warriors are going nowhere in the near future. His focus might no longer be winning more championships.

LeBron delivered on his promise to bring a championship to Cleveland, and could now accept the challenge to win with a third different. He has never played with a Western Conference team. Therefore, that could also entice him, now that all NBA talent seems to be assembled in that conference.