The trade that Cleveland Cavaliers fans have been waiting for to save their season is looking more and more like it’s not going to come. With less than 24 hours remaining until the 2018 NBA trade deadline, the defending Eastern Conference Champions don’t appear close to making any kind of impactful deal.

Rumors have linked Cleveland to several players over the past few weeks. The Cavs were expected to acquire George Hill from the Sacramento Kings in a trade that never materialized. Cleveland has been in discussions with the Los Angeles Clippers regarding DeAndre Jordan, but the team is unwilling to include the Brooklyn Nets’ first-round draft pick that L.A. desires. The Charlotte Hornets have made Kemba Walker available to teams that would also take on another one of their lucrative salaries, but no reports indicate that any deal between Charlotte and Cleveland is close.

Already preparing for life without LeBron James next season, the Cavs don’t want to compromise their future in order to pursue a title this season. That means holding onto draft picks and possibly failing to reach the NBA Finals for a fourth straight year.

Unless the Cavaliers trade Brooklyn’s pick, they likely aren’t going to acquire a player that’s going to alter a playoff series. Cleveland’s best chance to make a big move came in the offseason, and the organization missed their opportunity.

When Kyrie Irving asked to be traded, the Cavs sent their star point guard to Boston in exchange for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder and the Nets’ pick. Thomas and Crowder are both having their worst seasons in years, while Brooklyn’s selection no longer looks like it will be among the draft’s first couple of picks.

Cleveland had the pieces to make a trade for Paul George work, but the team saw the Indiana Pacers send their All-Star to the Oklahoma City Thunder. Chris Paul forced a trade to the Houston Rockets in the summer, and the Minnesota Timberwolves acquired Jimmy Butler from the Chicago Bulls. The Clippers even sent Blake Griffin to the Detroit Pistons last week.

James has had to watch several contenders acquire All-Stars, while the player Cleveland traded for has been a negative for the Cavs. It’s put a strain on James’ relationship with owner Dan Gilbert, according to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, and possibly even affected his play on the court.

The Cavs won’t beat the Golden State Warriors in a seven-game series without making a trade. Even if they were to somehow meet the Houston Rockets, San Antonio Spurs or Oklahoma City Thunder in the 2018 NBA Finals, Cleveland’s roster would still likely come up short.

In each year of James’ second stint with his hometown team, Cleveland seems to make a deadline deal in hopes of giving them a chance to win the title. In what could be James’ final run with the Cavs, the team might need to make a trade just to get out of the East.

With the worst defense in the conference, Cleveland has fallen to 30-22. They are the East’s No.3 seed, trailing the Boston Celtics and Toronto Raptors by six games in the loss column. The Cavs are just four games ahead of the Pistons, who are currently out of the postseason.

Things might only get worse over the next couple of weeks. Kevin Love remains sidelined with a broken bone in his hand, and Cleveland has lost 13 of their last 19 games.

Maybe when the trade deadline is almost up, Cleveland will pull the trigger on a trade. The draft picks that Cleveland owns make a notable deal possible.

If no such deal comes, James’ stint with Cleveland, as well as his streak of seven straight appearances in the NBA Finals, could come to an abrupt end.