The Cavaliers are scrambling to find the right return for dealing Kyrie Irving. They want young players to build a new foundation upon in case LeBron James leaves, according to a report from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
The Cavs have yet to get a commitment from James beyond next season, according to the report. They’ve seen him shift gears enough to know what his exit strategy looks like and they’re doing their best to prepare for it.
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Cleveland is determined to get an elite young player for Irving, which means this: The trade plan the Cavaliers would have prioritized, with James committed for the long term — veterans to surround James and draft picks — isn’t in motion.
It’s an excuse to explain away a loss. Indiana once built an exciting, competitive team around George. That run ended years ago, and the Pacers have struggled to rekindle anything special. That’s not the Lakers’ fault.
So punishing them for George’s exit strategy — even if those Lakers discussed it with him — is pointless. Because Indiana already traded George, a positive tampering verdict changes nothing. It is simply vengeance.
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How absurd it would be if a ruling from the league prevented the Lakers from signing George in 2018. None of the three parties would be happy. The Pacers wouldn’t have George, the Lakers would have seen their plan go up in smoke, and George wouldn’t be able to sign with his hometown team. Some other team — maybe the Thunder — would win his services.