Report: Kyrie Irving Cavs-Celtics Trade Done Without Consulting LeBron James

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistFebruary 6, 2018

CLEVELAND, OH - OCTOBER 17:  Kyrie Irving #11 of the Boston Celtics and LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers walk up court on October 17, 2017 at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. 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 Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)
Jesse D. Garrabrant/Getty Images

Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James attempted to convince the Cavs not to trade Kyrie Irving this past offseason, and the team brokered a deal with the Boston Celtics "without consulting James," The Athletic's Jason Lloyd reported Tuesday.

According to Lloyd, Cavaliers general manager Koby Altman called James to inform him of the trade after Cleveland had already reached an agreement with Boston.

Lloyd also said James "doesn't trust" the Cavaliers' current front office and that the two sides aren't even communicating.

According to Lloyd, James was confident he could convince Irving to stay with the team, despite ESPN's Brian Windhorst reporting the All-Star point guard no longer wanted to play alongside James. ESPN's Stephen A. Smith also spoke to a source close to Irving who said he had grown tired of James "treating him like he's the child and LeBron's the father or big brother he's supposed to look up to."

Regardless of whether James could have salvaged the relationship, Lloyd's report underscored why it made little sense for Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert not to offer an extension to former GM David Griffin. Griffin had not only helped the franchise win its first-ever title, but he also had built a strong relationship with many of the players.

Gilbert compounded matters by then hiring Altman, who had little front office experience in the NBA before succeeding Griffin.

However, Lloyd's report also showed why James' presence can prove to be a double-edged sword at times. He reported James had "recruited" Jamal Crawford to sign with the Cavaliers as a free agent, but the team instead gave the open roster spot to Cedi Osman.

James' preference for Crawford is the type of short-term personnel move that has helped put the Cavs in such a difficult position.

Griffin recently gave an interview on NBA TV's The Starters explaining how James' contract situation forced the front office into "[making] a series of shortsighted, win-now deals" that give little consideration to future consequences:

Crawford is clearly more experienced than Osman, but it's hard to see how acquiring a 37-year-old swingman would help a roster that was already the oldest in the NBA. Not to mention, Cleveland already has JR Smith, who's not all that dissimilar from Crawford.

Osman, who's averaging 2.3 points and is shooting 35.7 percent from three-point range, isn't a key member of the rotation, but he may be able to help the Cavaliers navigate a possible future without James.

Considering how toxic things appear to be internally for the Cavs, it looks more and more likely that James will be playing elsewhere when the 2018-19 season tips off.

Related

    Playoff Teams That Won't Make the Cut Next Season

    NBA logo
    NBA

    Playoff Teams That Won't Make the Cut Next Season

    Zach Buckley
    via Bleacher Report

    Report: Raptors Think They Can Re-Sign Kawhi

    NBA logo
    NBA

    Report: Raptors Think They Can Re-Sign Kawhi

    Scott Polacek
    via Bleacher Report

    Report: DeRozan Upset After Trade

    NBA logo
    NBA

    Report: DeRozan Upset After Trade

    Kyle Newport
    via Bleacher Report

    Where LeBron-to-LA Ranks Among All-Time Signings

    NBA logo
    NBA

    Where LeBron-to-LA Ranks Among All-Time Signings

    Adam Fromal
    via Bleacher Report