LeBron James Kyrie Irving
Kyrie Irving reportedly wants to be traded so he no longer has to play with LeBron James. Pictured: James hugs Irving after defeating the Golden State Warriors in Game 5 of the 2016 NBA Finals at ORACLE Arena on June 13, 2016 in Oakland, California. Getty Images

For many basketball fans, the news that Kyrie Irving wanted to be traded from the Cleveland Cavaliers came as a shock. The point guard had just made the NBA Finals for a third straight season, and the team is the overwhelming favorite in the Eastern Conference in 2018 with LeBron James returning for at least one more year.

Irving’s request has been three years in the making, having played second fiddle to the best basketball player on the planet since his triumphant return in the summer of 2014. There have been rumors during various parts of the last few seasons that Irving was unhappy in Cleveland, and it appears that he’s finally ready to move on.

READ: New York Knicks, San Antonio Spurs Possible Destinations For Kyrie Irving?

ESPN’s Brian Windhorst broke the story Friday, reporting that Irving asked to be traded two weeks prior. The 25-year-old is no longer interested in playing with James, looking for a bigger role on a team with which he can be the No.1 option.

Irving had been the star of an NBA team before, during which time he didn’t have much success. The year before James left Miami for Cleveland, Irving led the Cavs with 20.8 points per game. The team went 33-49 and missed the playoffs.

Irving inked a five-year contract extension with Cleveland after the season ended, and James signed with the Cavs shortly afterward. Following three straight years of leading Cleveland in scoring and never reaching the playoffs, Irving became the team’s No.2 scorer while adding three NBA Finals appearances and one championship to his resume.

Cleveland failed to defend their title in June, losing to the Golden State Warriors in five games. It became clear that the Cavs weren’t equipped to defeat the Warriors with Kevin Durant, though winning another ring might not have changed things for Irving. He reportedly considered asking for a trade last summer after the franchise won their first-ever championship.

During last year’s title run, there were rumors that Irving wasn’t happy in Cleveland, and he didn’t exactly shoot down the report when asked about it.

“There's nothing to really address,” Irving said, via Cleveland.com on March 1, 2016. “Obviously there's going to be some misunderstandings, it's part of being on a team. For me, as a maturing young player in this league, I know what we have and the opportunity we have in order to be something special. My communication is open with all of my teammates, just knowing what's going on and how I feel about things.”

James was reportedly blindsided when he heard that Irving wanted to go elsewhere, and things between the two players don’t seem to be getting any better as Cleveland weighs their options. ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith reported that Irving’s camp is “disgusted” with James’ camp, believing they are the ones that leaked the news of the point guard’s trade request.

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Cavs have been receiving offers for Irving, though they aren’t close to making a deal.

It’s possible that Cleveland could choose to keep Irving and go to war with the same core of players that won a title one season ago. Irving can’t become a free agent until the summer of 2019, and the Cavs would be hard-pressed to get equal value for him in any trade.

READ: LeBron James, Chris Paul, Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade Combo Could Team Up In 2018

Irving reportedly named the San Antonio Spurs, New York Knicks, Minnesota Timberwolves and Miami Heat as his preferred destinations. Irving does not have a no-trade clause.

There’s speculation that James could be entering his final season with the Cavs. He’s eligible to become a free agent next offseason, and many believe that he’s eying a chance to play with the Los Angeles Lakers.