Kevin Durant Tweets on LeBron James Trade Talk: 'U Can't Trade a Legend'

Tyler ConwayFeatured ColumnistAugust 16, 2017

DELHI, INDIA - JULY 28:  Kevin Durant #35 of the Golden State Warriors hosts a Jr. NBA Clinic in Delhi National Capital Region in Delhi, India on July 28, 2017. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by NBA Photos/NBAE via Getty Images)
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Kevin Durant is coming to the defense of LeBron James.

The Golden State Warriors forward exchanged tweets with Lil Dicky on Wednesday, saying the Cavaliers "can't trade a legend" in response to the rapper saying Cleveland should trade James:

Longtime NBA writer Chris Sheridan reported James is "100 percent leaving" the Cavaliers next summer, citing the four-time MVP's displeasure with ownership. James holds a player option for the 2018-19 season and can become an unrestricted free agent.

Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com cited three sources close to LeBron who refuted that report. Either way, rumors about James' future have been rampant all summer—particularly in the aftermath of Kyrie Irving's trade demand.

The issue with Mr. Dicky's point, however, is the Cavs can't trade LeBron. He has a no-trade clause. He would have to give his permission for any deal and, thus, would have final say on essentially every aspect of the situation. 

There is a trio of reasons James would not approve any trade. First, of course, being the Cavaliers are still his best bet to compete for a championship next season. Cleveland's still the favorite in the East despite its internal turmoil, and Houston is the only potential fit out West that could remotely compete with the Golden State Warriors.

Relatedly, any team that trades for James would have to give up a near-impossible sum of draft picks and players. Said team would then become weaker and then less likely to compete for a championship. James is perhaps the most calculated decision maker in NBA history. He picked the perfect time to leave Cleveland and Miami before, and he's not going to alienate his fanbase again for a situation any less than championship worthy.

Then there's the petty factor. If James dislikes Gilbert as much as most believe, there's no incentive for him to help the Cavs out in any way here.