The request, a bombshell for a team already scuffling through an awkward offseason, was first reported by ESPN.
Irving asked to be traded last week in a meeting with owner Dan Gilbert, though he was planning to do it for weeks.
James is aware of Irving's request, as are numerous Cavs teammates, and they are experiencing a range of emotions -- sources said -- from disappointment, to shock, to sadness.
"We met with Cavs' leadership and we discussed many different scenarios in reference to Kyrie and his future with the team," Irving's agent Jeff Wechsler told cleveland.com. "There were a bunch of scenarios, and I'm not going to discuss anything that was said. I don't know where this is coming from."
Two sources told cleveland.com Irving did not want to play with James, who has been the focal point of rumors about a possible departure from the Cavs as a free agent next summer.
"Kyrie informed the Cavs he no longer wanted to play alongside LeBron," said a source with knowledge of the meeting between Irving, Gilbert, and Cavs' leadership. "He wants to be the focal point, a franchise guy."
Another source, also with knowledge of the discussion, said Irving's request was based more around wanting to be the focal point, rather than parting from James.
"Where is LeBron's head?" said a source close to James, "he's focused on winning and focused on next season, on what is in his control."
James' representatives told the Cavs to handle Irving's request in the best interest of the team.
Irving, 25, is a four-time All-Star. He averaged a career-high 25.2 points and shot a career-best .473 from the field last season.
Beyond the numbers, Irving was drafted No. 1 by the Cavs in 2011, as they first started to pick up the pieces from James' departure in 2010. He also hit the most important shot in team history -- a 3-pointer late in Game 7 of the 2016 Finals to beat the Warriors and claim for the franchise its first championship.
Which begs the question -- are the Cavs willing to honor his request? Multiple team officials declined comment, though a source said the team would move Irving and get a huge return.
Irving, of course, did not make make his request until after the franchise tried to trade Kevin Love out West in return for Paul George.
Irving is younger and more prolific than Love -- he might have helped the Cavs engineer a trade for George or Jimmy Butler (who ended up in Oklahoma City and Minnesota via trades, respectively).
A source said a deal was on the table for Irving before the draft, but was not executed because it was not yet known that Irving wanted out.
The Cavs have held interest in Carmelo Anthony this summer, and Irving, according to ESPN, has named the Knicks as one of four preferred destinations to be traded. Miami, San Antonio (where, ironically, he would not be the focal point of a team where Kawhi Leonard plays) and Minnesota are the others.
Irving is due $18.9 million this season. Anthony is owed $26.2 million and has a 15 percent trade kicker in his contract. So Cleveland would need to include Channing Frye ($7.4 million), at minimum, to make such a trade work.
But there has been no indication the Cavs are considering trading Irving to the Knicks, and two sources said Cleveland wouldn't trade for Anthony at all.
Irving could potentially qualify for a "super max" contract in two seasons, which would pay him upwards of $200 million or more, but he would not be eligible if he were traded. He has three years (including a player's option) and $60.2 million left on his current deal.
In a conversation with cleveland.com earlier this week, Irving's agent, Wechsler, clammed up when asked about Irving's intentions as they related to the super max.
"That's two years down the road, Joe, we're not going to discuss that," Wechsler said.
Irving is traveling in Asia right now with Nike.
Irving's request, made in the past several days, would seem to shed new light on the Cavs' pursuit of Derrick Rose.
B.J. Armstrong, Rose's agent, said the Cavs did not disclose Irving's request for a trade in phone conversations about Rose.
Things have been rough in Cleveland since the Cavs lost Game 5 of the 2017 Finals to the Warriors.
General manager David Griffin could not come to an agreement on a new contract with Gilbert and left the organization, days before the draft.
Gilbert's targeted replacement, Chauncey Billups, chose not to take the job, primarily because of Gilbert's low-ball offer in the neighborhood of $2 million.
The rumors will not cease about James' intentions to leave in free agency -- fueled in part by his frustration over Griffin's departure and the team's relatively tepid performance in free agency.
Earlier this week, Irving, while at a fashion show in Los Angeles, told Sports Illustrated the Cavs were in a "peculiar situation." He had already asked Gilbert to trade him by that point.
(c)2017 Advance Ohio Media, Cleveland
Visit Advance Ohio Media, Cleveland at www.cleveland.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.