Cleveland.com's Joe Vardon reported Monday that the Cavs signed Derrick Rose, and in his report, Vardon wrote Rose may jump right into the starting lineup because James "is eager to see [Irving] off" after Irving demanded a trade.
USA Today's Jeff Zillgitt tweeted Friday that James was "focused on training for next season and winning with whomever is on the roster."
It's not exactly shocking James is already looking toward a future without Irving, considering James is reportedly one of the driving forces behind Irving's desire to leave Cleveland. The two stars haven't had an outwardly contentious relationship, but ESPN.com's Ramona Shelburne, Dave McMenamin and Brian Windhorst reported Irving is "tired of being Robin to James' Batman":
"Much of Irving's disenchantment with James was rooted in game play, sources said. James, as a once-in-a-lifetime talent, controlled the ball more than any other forward perhaps in league history. Which means the ball was out of Irving's hands more than he preferred. That said, Irving led the Cavs in shots in the 2016-17 season, averaging 1.5 more per game than James, and Irving averaged a career-high [25.2] points. It was the first time in James' career he didn't lead his team in shots per game."
It's not as if his trade demand was a spur-of-the-moment decision. Windhorst reported Irving had considered asking for a trade last summer, when the Cavs were still basking in the glory of their NBA Finals comeback against the Golden State Warriors.
Irving is under contract for two more years, so the Cavaliers could hypothetically keep him through the summer and into next year before possibly returning to trade discussions. Cleveland could even hold on to him with the idea being James' departure next offseason would ultimately give Irving what he wants.
But it's likely in everybody's best interests that Irving be traded.