Well, “Trader Danny,” Ainge that is, finally was able to pull off a major trade for a superstar caliber player. They struck out on acquiring Jimmy Butler and Paul George.
According to reports, the Cleveland Cavaliers have decided to trade Kyrie Irving to the Boston Celtics in a package that includes Isaiah Thomas and the Brooklyn Nets’ 2018 unprotected 1st round pick.
Cleveland gets: Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder and Ante Zizic and the 2018 unprotected Brooklyn Nets 1st Round Pick
Boston gets: Kyrie Irving
Now this is huge and there are some things to know about this trade.
For Boston, they get an absolute killer in Kyrie Irving who is an NBA champion and has performed well in his trips to the playoffs, sometimes even outperforming LeBron James on occasions. It seems that his riff with the Cavaliers stems from the fact that he wants to be the alpha male of a ball club and right now, he has an opportunity to do so on this Celtics squad who has Gordon Hayward, Al Horford and a bunch of promising young bucks. They didn’t have to lose Marcus Smart, Jaylen Brown or Jayson Tatum, who all have potential to be starters and good players in this league and who knows of they can be core contributors to this ball club. With the Eastern Conference being as weak as it has ever been, the Celtics could very well see themselves as the top seed or 2nd seed atleast.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) August 22, 2017
For the Cavs, they get a fee interesting pieces. Virtually, Irving and Thomas could be considered the same type of player. Thomas has instilled himself as a clutch player and a star last season for the Celtics. His heart over height approach has made him quite the player and very lovable. Thomas averaged nearly 30 points a game last season for the Celtics but other than that and his fearless and natural leadership, he was a defensive liability. Now, that’s not to say Irving is 1st team all defender, but Irving has shown to be a lazy defender, but he is one of very few that has been successful defensively against Stephen Curry in the Finals, which is relevant because that’s what it’s all about at this point in the NBA. Can you beat Golden State? Irving has helped beat that team (minus Kevin Durant) and the Celtics knew that.
Aside from Thomas, the Cavaliers will get a hustle player in Jae Crowder and rookie international big man Ante Zizic.
The important part of the deal is the 2018 Brooklyn pick. This to me indicates that LeBron James could be on his way out next season. The 2018 pick will most likely be a lottery pick and could possibly land the Cavaliers a guy like forward Michael Porter Jr. or big man Marvin Bagley. The Cavaliers could be preparing to make one last Finals push with LeBron James and James may be gone after this season. Whatever the case may be, they could be looking forward to life after LeBron James as sad as it may sound.
The trade helps both teams, I think it helps the Cavaliers future for a possible rebuild starting with the Brooklyn pick and maybe they will sign Thomas to an extension after this season, who knows? Irving definitely helps bring championship attitude in the Celtics locker room and will most likely be asked to help lead this team, which is mainly what he wanted. The Celtics didn’t give up any of their young bucks with massive potential and also have a potential lottery pick still in next year’s draft from acquiring the the Lakers’ 2018 1st round pick. This will indeed be quite the NBA season in the east.