The offseason of the National Basketball Association is almost as entertaining as the season itself. In what other league, in the four major sports in America, do you see the amount of star-power moved on such a consistent basis? The answer, is none. On Tuesday night the Cleveland Cavaliers decided to trade their reportedly disgruntled all-star point guard & key catalyst in three consecutive NBA Finals appearances, Kyrie Irving. The Cavs traded Kyrie Irving to the NBA’s best team in the Eastern Conference throughout the 2017-18 regular season, the Boston Celtics. Although, the Celtics may have won the regular season, the Cavaliers dismantled them in five games during the Eastern Conference Finals last May.
In return for Kyrie Irving, Cleveland acquired two-time all-star point guard Isaiah Thomas, a roll playing small forward named Jae Crowder, a 7’0 Croatian Center that most people have never heard of- Ante Zizic, & what is arguably the most important piece of the deal: the Brooklyn Nets unprotected 2018 1st round draft pick that Boston had acquired via the Paul Pierce-Kevin Garnet Brooklyn heist in 2013.
The question everyone is asking is, who won the trade? The Cavaliers were able to scoop up a top-five guard in the East, a long wing defender that will give them help in the event that they face Golden State again, a young big, and a draft selection that could be key in a full-scale rebuild. A rebuild? Yes, in the event LeBron James decides to jettison The Land again & Isaiah Thomas leaves for free agency; since Thomas is only under contract through 2018 & will be looking to cash in on a monstrous max contract next July.
The Boston Celtics received one of the best point guards in The Association, with Kyrie Irving. Losing Thomas & Crowder in the trade to the Cavs, Kelly Olynyk to the Miami Heat & Amir Johnson to the Philadelphia 76ers in free agency, & trading away Avery Bradley to the Pistons; the Celtics have lost 74.6 points per game, 18 assists per game, & 25 rebounds per game. Boston did however reel in Gordon Hayward from the Utah Jazz, select Jayson Tatum out of Duke with their 3rd overall pick in this year’s draft, and acquired Marcus Morris (in the Avery Bradley trade) & Aron Baynes from the Pistons
Boston’s blueprint seems clear, and the kicker to this whole deal is the fact that Isaiah Thomas’ hip injury is the least talked about injury in NBA history. Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated just reported on Celtics General Danny Ainge, stating Thomas “would not need hip surgery”. The Celtics were able to get a younger, more efficient, healthier point guard, who has the clutch gene. The Celtics may not be able to win the battle against Cleveland this upcoming season, because last time I checked, the Cavs still have LeBron James, but in 2019 we’ll be witnessing the Celtics winning the war of longevity.
Trade goes to= BOSTON.