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Kyrie Irving got his wish. Out of pretty much nowhere, the Cavaliers and Celtics pulled off a blockbuster trade on Tuesday: Irving to Boston for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic, and … the Nets’ unprotected 2018 first round pick. The Cavs traded their own former No. 1 pick in the 2011 NBA Draft for the No. 60 player in that draft, plus a potential top pick next year.
On the surface, this deal really works for both teams. Thomas was due for a giant raise next summer, while Irving is (for now) on an old salary cap deal. He’s also three years younger. The Cavaliers had to trade Irving left training camp turn into an ultra-awkward standoff between Irving and LeBron James, the legend Irving openly disrespected by requesting a trade. Getting an All-NBA scoring guard, a tough wing defender, a promising young big, and a premium draft pick, it’s hard to imagine Cleveland doing better anywhere else.
That said, this could go terribly wrong for both sides. What if the Cavs fall to the Warriors, the Celtics, or another East team, and James and Thomas both leave as free agents in 2018, Zizic doesn’t pan out, and the Nets’ pick ends up in the Nos. 7-10 range? That makes for a rough future.
What if Irving is no upgrade on Thomas, and in fact puts off the other Celtics, new and old, who bristle at Irving’s all offense, no defense style? What…Read More