Remember when the Cleveland Cavaliers got cold feet on the Kyrie Irving-Isaiah Thomas trade?
Well, LeBron James reportedly wasn’t a fan of how the deal ultimately played out.
After initially agreeing to trade Irving to the Boston Celtics in exchange for a package including Thomas, the Cavs delayed completion of the deal over concerns with the severity of Thomas’ hip injury. After more than a week of negotiations, Cleveland eventually took a 2020 second-round as additional compensation.
And in a piece published Sunday on ESPN, Dave McMenamin and Brian Windhorst detailed James’ frustration over the Cavs’ inability to pry more valuable assets from Boston.
“Then there was the transaction,” McMenamin and Windhorst wrote. “It’s well known that James preferred the Cavs not trade Irving, but there was more. Sources close to James, a master of applying leverage, said he was less than impressed by how the Cavs handled reworking the Irving deal once the severity of Thomas’ injury became clear.
” … When the dust settled, the fact that Cleveland got only a second-round pick after pausing the deal — and not an additional first-rounder or young player such as Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown or Terry Rozier — didn’t just disappoint James as a basketball player. It disappointed him as a businessman.”
Considering the way Thomas’ tenure in Cleveland played out, it’s safe to say James was justified in his disappointment.
But at the end of the day, perhaps James needs to look in the mirror and think about why his revolving door of sidekicks routinely proves ineffective.
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