What If…The Cavaliers Had Traded LeBron (Instead of Kyrie) Last Year?

Okay, okay…I have no excuse for not writing the last two weeks.  I have been lazy, and to be honest, I really had no idea on what to write about.  Yes, the NBA Finals came, and happened, but nothing surprising happened there.  The NFL has had a few signings, but nothing worthy of a single article.  Tiger had some hype not to long ago, but he completely bombed in the Final Round.  So yeah, my month of June has been a little stale, so lets spice that up with a hypothetical question:  What if the Cavaliers had traded LeBron, instead of Kyrie last year?

You may think that this is an absurd thing to say.  In what universe would the Cavaliers trade the potential “GOAT”?  Well, the world does strange things for love…And money…But especially for sports.

Disclaimer:  All said analysis is for entertainment, and is meant to be taken sarcastically, humorous, and bitterly.

First off, why would the Cavaliers want to trade away LeBron James?  He is their best player, right?  Yes, that is absolutely true.  But here is the catch.  LeBron had one more year left on his contract, and it was no secret that LeBron was going to leave Cleveland (News Flash to any Cavaliers fans).  The Cavaliers knew that the 2017-2018 season was a “All-In” season.  However, the Cavaliers knew that they also had to have a better team than the previous year, since the Warriors were going to be just as dominate as they were the year before, and that the only way the Cavaliers stood a chance of a Final victory would be to improve their team…Not just maintain its current level.  However, with the Cavaliers trading away Kyrie Irving (one of the most talented players in the league), and receiving an injured Isaiah Thomas, their was not much improvement on the Cavs part.  Yes, Isaiah is good, but he is not the one piece that would have propelled LeBron to a fourth NBA Final win.  The Cavaliers knew that once LeBron left after the 2017-18 season, that their franchise would be left in the dust…Unless, they beat LeBron to the punch, and traded LeBron away.

Kyrie Irving would be happy to be the main focus of the Cavaliers, and would probably appreciate (greatly) the loyalty the franchise showed by keeping him.

However, who would the Cavaliers trade to, and what would they get in return?

LeBron wants to go to a city that is big.  And what team do we know that is big, and was interested in trading one of their key players?  The New York Knicks.  The Knicks were having a controversy with Carmelo Anthony, and Anthony said that he wanted to get traded to only two teams, the Rockets and the Cavaliers.  The Cavaliers jump at the offer and trade LeBron for Carmelo Anthony and a draft pick.  The Cavaliers decide that Anthony is a good replacement for Lebron, since he is a Small Forward, and would help keep the Cavaliers offense revved up after losing LeBron James.

The Cavaliers

The Cavaliers, now having Kyrie, Love, and Anthony, are a great team.  The team has a more balanced attack with Anthony/Irving.  The Cavaliers may not have great defense, but can score a lot of points from a few guys.  With the determination to become the best, the team makes it into the Eastern Conference Playoffs, and start with the 5th seed.  The Cavaliers win their first series against the Indiana Pacers in just 5 games, but end up losing in the second round to the top seeded Raptors.

However, the team feels accomplished with themselves, and they stay in that middle ground for years, and the media forgets that Cleveland has a professional basketball team, and the Cleveland Cavaliers “Glory Days” turn into stories that old grandfathers tell their little grandchildren every time the word “Basketball” is mentioned. Thus, the Cavaliers become like 80% of the rest of the NBA teams, and are only talked about when discussing LeBron’s career.

The Knicks

However, when a trade happens, there is always another team’s story that should be told.  The Knicks fanbase is hyped that LeBron James…THE LeBron James is coming to their ol’ Knicks.  LeBron is okay with the decision, not loving the fact he got traded to a team that was not competitive, but glad that he gets to play for a team in the Big Apple.  The Knicks have a interesting combination, with LeBron and “Giant-Man” being the main focus of the team.

The Knicks do badly at first, struggling to win games.  The media blames the rest of the team (and definitely not LeBron) for the fact they are losing.  However, LeBron and his teammates finally pull together, and start creating a win streak…3, 5, 8…10 wins in a row!  Fans start calling the Knicks the “Streakiest-Streakers-Knickers!”.

The Knicks have their final game of the regular season, and if they win, the Knicks make the Playoffs…If they lose, their season ends there.  The game goes okay at first, but the game ends up pretty close at the end.  The Knicks are down by 1 point with less than 10 seconds to go, and Courtney Lee is at the free-throw line.  He drills his first shot…The game is tied with one more free-throw by Lee left.  He throws the second shot, but misses…Luckily, LeBron James is able to rebound the shot with only a few seconds left.  Not-so-luckily, however, LeBron looks confused, and dribbles the ball to past the 3-point line, wasting time.  All his teammates are yelling at him, telling him to shoot the ball.  However, LeBron is too confused, and passes the ball to another teammate right when the time expires…The game goes into overtime, but the Knicks end up losing the game.

Fans on Twitter start making fun of LeBron, but in his news conference afterwards, LeBron tells the reporters that his right-hand was injured for the entire game (from a self-afflicted injury).  The reporters ask about his 4th quarter mess-up.  LeBron gets mad, grabs his bag, and says, “Be better tomorrow!” and walks away.

LeBron does not sign with the Knicks, and is tired of all the controversy of which team to choose, so he decides to go back to a team that he is familiar with…The Miami Heat.

And that is it, SR Nation.  Now you know what the future would have been like if the Cavaliers had traded LeBron James instead of Kyrie.  If you would like me to do another “What-If” satire, put some suggestions in the comment section below, and remember, be the best sports fan you can possibly be, and do WLYF!

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3 comments

  • It’s an interesting premise, and while I love me some ‘Melo, his best days are most definitely in the rear view.
    Outside of the tact they would have to bring in the National Guard if the Cavs had traded LeBron (rather than have him leave), I see a lot to like about a preemptive trade. They could have gotten a king’s ransom from some team . . .

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, the fans would hate Cleveland, but in the long term, the Cavs may have benefited if they could have gotten a good trade.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I agree completely. I am all for both sides being proactive when they can be. I have nothing against players who choose where they want to play, since as a FA it’s their right. And I also have nothing against a front office that has one eye on the current roster but another on the future. It’s worked out pretty well for Boston . . .

        Liked by 1 person

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