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LeBron James Wanted Cavaliers To Trade Kyrie Irving For Damian Lillard

LeBron James said that it was the "end of an era" when the Cleveland Cavaliers traded disgruntled All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving to the Boston Celtics.

It's hard to disagree with such a statement. The Cavaliers were a one-man wrecking machine with James last season, and the lack of roster talent was a key reason why he signed with the Los Angeles Lakers this summer.

Isaiah Thomas and Jae Crowder were the central pieces Cleveland received from Boston in the Irving blockbuster. Both guys were traded at last season's deadline, leaving the Cavs completely shorthanded on this deal.

If James had it his way, the Cavaliers would have gotten a significantly better return package. Citing sources, Bleacher Report's Ric Bucher said that James told Cleveland's front office to trade Irving to the Portland Trail Blazers in exchange for fellow superstar point guard Damian Lillard.

The 28-year-old Lillard has been heavily mentioned in trade talks, with the Lakers being linked to his services. But whether or not the Trail Blazers want to trade their best player in decades remains to be seen.

RELATED: LEBRON JAMES OPENS UP ON UPCOMING CLEVELAND RETURN

Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Cavaliers never contaced Portland about making such a trade, and that turned out to be quite the mistake. Irving and the Celtics are among the elite teams in the Eastern Conference, while the Cavaliers are among the NBA's worst teams this season.

But right now, the Cavaliers have to be kicking themselves for not listening to LeBron and at least inquire about a potential blockbuster deal for Lillard.

What This Means

You can see why James left the Cavaliers after being swept by the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals. The front office traded Irving to Boston, when James specifically told them not to. They couldn't supply him with much roster talent after the Irving trade, which all but paved the way for him to leave and join the Lakers this offseason.

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