Bill Lubinger of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports:

The deal to sell a minority stake in the Cavaliers to a Chinese investment group — what would have been the first major Chinese investment in an American sports league — has been dead for months, according to the Cavs and the NBA.

The Plain Dealer first reported in May 2009 that a group led by Chinese businessman Kenny Huang had agreed to buy 15 percent of the team owned by former Cavs Vice Chairman David Katzman.

The agreement was billed as a timely entree into the massive and growing Chinese sports audience, and a valuable cash infusion for the Cavs — both positive developments in the bid to keep free agent LeBron James. The sale was expected to be completed late last year, pending NBA approval.

“It never materialized, as far as completing the application process with the league,” said Cavs President Len Komoroski. “Ultimately, you would have to ask [Huang’s group] as to why.”