During an appearance on ESPN’s First Take Thursday (via SB Nation’s Carter Rodriguez), Pablo Torre said James is going around “hustling” to see about the potential availability of players in a deal for Irving:
“LeBron James is doing some LeBron James offseason work. And my understanding is it’s not just Derrick Rose, it’s not just Eric Bledsoe. LeBron James happens to know a guy named James Jones . . . LeBron James is hustling behind the scenes, is my understanding, asking ‘Is Josh Jackson available for Kyrie Irving?’ And the answer back that I heard is ‘no, he is not.’ But LeBron James is hustling on behalf of the Cleveland Cavaliers, at least for this one year.”
ESPN’s Brian Windhorst reported James has been “communicative” with the Cavaliers during this process, but is “not inquiring about any players” in a potential Irving trade.
At the start of free agency, ESPN’s Dave McMenamin reported on July 2 that James was “not actively recruiting” players to help the Cavaliers as they tried to upgrade their roster for another run to the NBA Finals next season.
When Windhorst reported Irving wanted a trade out of Cleveland, he noted James “was blindsided and disappointed.”
The Cavaliers have yet to honor Irving’s request for a deal, nor are they obligated to do so because he’s under contract for two more guaranteed years and the team is still capable of winning the Eastern Conference with him and James as their top two players.
James may not ultimately succeed in his “hustling” quest for the Cavs, but the four-time NBA MVP is apparently not sitting idly by while everything happens around him.
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