It finally happened. Kyrie Irving has been traded, and not to any of the four teams that he was originally linked to; the Knicks, Spurs, Timberwolves, and Heat. Kyrie Irving is a Boston Celtic, and the NBA officially makes no sense.
The Celtics traded Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic, and the Brooklyn Nets’ 2018 first round pick, all for Kyrie Irving.
This is always the first question that comes up following a blockbuster trade like this. Sometimes, both teams benefit from the move. Other times, both teams seem to have gotten worse. Unfortunately, I see this move on the latter side of the spectrum.
It really doesn’t make sense. The Celtics just traded a fan favorite, top-3 scoring, all-star point guard that was literally the center of their offense for a complete experiment. I understand that Thomas’s deal was expiring next offseason and they were most likely going to be forced into paying him the max, but it’s not like Kyrie Irving is dirt cheap. He’s only making about 10 million dollars under the max contract.
I didn’t forget about the rest of the package going to Cleveland either. The Cavaliers are acquiring a potential top three draft pick next year to either play alongside Lebron, Isaiah Thomas, and Kevin Love or to lead them back to glory depending on Lebron’s decision next offseason.
They’re also acquiring Jae Crowder, one of the cheapest and most effective roleplayers in the NBA. He is the perfect shooting guard for this team, as he is essentially a cross of J.R. Smith’s offense and Iman Shumpert’s defense. Ante Zizic may be a completely unproven European center, but it’s basically just a cherry on top at this point.
Will This Help The Cavs?
We understand that the Celtics were screwed over in the move, but how good really was this for the Cavaliers?
The Cavaliers had an opportunity with Kyrie demanding a trade. They could’ve traded him for veterans to make one final run to keep Lebron in Cleveland, or they could’ve traded him for multiple picks and young players to jump start a rebuild.
Unfortunately, it seems the Cavaliers couldn’t decide, so they took a middle road. Personally, I believe Kyrie Irving made a bigger impact in Cleveland than Isaiah Thomas and Jae Crowder will, so a championship doesn’t seem like a possibility.
Even if the Cavaliers couldn’t find an offer to allow them to be competitive with the Warriors, Rockets, Thunder and the other “superteams,” they could’ve still begun their rebuild off with a bang. Unfortunately, it seems Lebron is going to leave and they won’t have a lineup of young guys waiting in the wings.
Imagine the 2017-2018 NBA season goes according to plan. The Warriors beat the Cavaliers in the NBA Finals for the second year in a row, and the Nets are once again a below average team. That offseason, Lebron James, and Isaiah Thomas ditch Kevin Love in Cleveland with a top five pick. The Celtics are also struggling to keep Kyrie Irving happy after his role as a scorer is slowly diminishing in Boston while playing with Gordon Hayward and Jayson Tatum (I am a huge fan of Tatum’s game and am actually picking him to win rookie of the year).
In the meantime, the Warriors and Rockets are still stacking up all-stars to once again, be the only teams in the NBA with a chance at the finals. It may be sad, but it’s true.