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Kyrie Irving Blockbuster Trade

Erik Daniel Drost

Erik Daniel Drost

Nathan Bush, Columnist

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The NBA landscape basically just got hit with a meteor. Kyrie Irving is a Boston Celtic. Isaiah Thomas is a Cleveland Cavalier. If you haven’t heard, I’m kind of a major Celtics fan. I’m going to try to get through this column with as little bias as possible…

The trade itself is actually quite simple. The Celtics sent Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Žižić and the 2018 Brooklyn Nets pick to the Cavs for Kyrie Irving. It’s quite possibly the greatest blockbuster deal since Carmelo Anthony was traded in 2011.

For Cleveland, this trade is a beauty. When Kyrie demanded for a trade this offseason, the overwhelming majority of NBA insiders believed Cleveland had two choices. They either could trade Irving for an accomplished starter, Carmelo Anthony, or they could trade him for a rebuilding package with young assets and picks.

The Cavs found a way to do both.

And for the first time in a very, very long time, the Cavaliers actually won a trade. Thomas is coming off a breakout season in which he averaged 28.9 points per game, putting him third in points per game behind Russell Westbrook and James Harden. He had a phenomenal 2016-17 campaign and he even made the all-NBA team. The next three pieces however are what push this trade to the metaphorical stratosphere. Jae Crowder, who possibly has the most team friendly contract in pro sports, is now suited up right next to LeBron. The addition of Crowder will help alleviate the defensive pressure that LeBron may face when playing teams like the Golden State Warriors. Žižić is not by any means my favorite NBA rookie, but he is at least a young player that’s worth keeping around. The crown jewel of the asset portion of this trade is definitely the 2018 Brooklyn Nets pick. The Brooklyn pick is almost guaranteed to fall inside the top seven, giving Cleveland a swing at a loaded draft class. The Cavaliers managed to cover all their bases, something very few teams have been able to do.

The Celtics however…

I’m trying to convince myself that this trade is a good thing. I love Kyrie Irving’s game and I can’t wait to see what he does in Brad Stevens’ amazing system, but I can’t help but wonder if the C’s gave up too much. I would have been fine with this trade had the Celtics left out the Brooklyn pick, but now, I fear Danny Ainge has gone all-in with the wrong guy. The lack of rebounding on this team is frightening, but I understand the necessity of this trade.

There was a lot of risk associated with Isaiah Thomas because of his small stature and nagging hip injuries. More importantly, with Thomas’ contract ending next summer, the Celtics would have been forced to offer him a crazy amount of money, possibly ruining their future flexibility. Irving also gives the Celtics a better chance with Golden State, so the trade works both ways.

If I had to declare a winner, I think the Cavaliers won by a landslide, but I don’t believe the Celtics completely lost out either. It was a crazy day in the NBA, and I can’t wait for this even crazier NBA season.

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2 Comments

2 Responses to “Kyrie Irving Blockbuster Trade”

  1. Barry Sanders on August 22nd, 2017 10:04 pm

    I like this article. However, I didn’t like how the author never mentioned me as the greatest Detroit Lion to ever live. Please include me in your next article.

    [Reply]

  2. Barry Sanders on August 22nd, 2017 10:04 pm

    I am not only the greatest Detroit Lion to ever live, but also the greatest running back to ever touch a football. Good Day

    [Reply]

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