LeBron James' refusal to commit to the Cleveland Cavaliers' long-term last summer might have cost the franchise a true superteam in the years moving forward. A new report reveals that the Cavs could've traded for an All-Star guard last summer, but James' refusal to commit for future years prevented the front office from doing it.
The Cavs' Big 3 moving forward could've potentially been LeBron-Paul George-Kyrie Irving. The new report reveals that Cleveland could've traded for George without giving up Love.
However, the Cavs decided not to do it because of the fear of losing LeBron, who told the franchise he couldn't guarantee future years. The Cavs didn't want to give up an asset for Paul George and then lose both him and James this summer.
If James had committed to the Cavs in the long-term, both him and George could've stayed in Cleveland for multiple years.
From ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski:
"Last summer, they could have acquired Paul George," Woj said, as transcribed by NBA Reddit. "I think Paul George wanted to know, 'if LeBron commits to some years going forward, then I might be willing to commit.'
"When LeBron wasn't willing to commit to an extension, that told me, they could have had Paul George without losing Kyrie. That's a very different team: Kyrie Irving, Paul George and LeBron James.
"When he wasn't ready to do that then, Cleveland was worried and rightly so."
Of course, we don't know that Kyrie Irving would've wanted to stay in Cleveland if this had happened, but he is close with George. Perhaps the allure of a LeBron-George-Kyrie threesome would've made it more likely he wanted to stay and win championships.
Alas, George is now in Oklahoma City, Irving is in Boston, and James could be on his way out of Cleveland this summer.