After Much Controversy the Mega Trade is Complete
By: Eric Ransom
Following his stunning aspiration to be traded from the Cleveland Cavaliers, Kyrie Irving got his wish- and it almost didn’t happen.
The Boston Celtics are the winner of the Kyrie Irving sweepstakes, at the cost of trading 2x All-Star point guard Isaiah Thomas, forward Jae Crowder, center Ante Zizic, and a 2018 first-round draft pick, all to Cleveland.
In return, the Celtics receive Kyrie Irving, 25, a 4x All-Star, Rookie of the Year in 2011-2012, and member of the 2015 All-NBA Team.
Just one year after winning his first NBA title with LeBron James and company, Irving informed the Cavaliers front office he wanted to be traded. Irving’s reasoning for the trade comes from his desire to play on a team without LeBron James as the focal point, having his own team to be the main star.
Controversy surrounded how the news was leaked, as individuals close to LeBron may have revealed the information to the masses. Nonetheless, the rumors were true, and Kyrie was quickly put on the trading block.
Teams including the Spurs, Knicks and Heat all had interest, until the Celtics recently stepped in, looking for another star to compliment the arrival of their new forward from Utah, Gordon Hayward.
The deal was set in place to trade Thomas and Crowder to Cleveland for Irving, until a snag halted the swap. Medical concerns over Thomas’s hip injury had the Cavaliers put the trade on hold, and nearly voided the move all together.
Members of the trade had already sent and regretted texts saying their “hellos” and “goodbyes”, until the Cavs requested one more piece in the trade as compensation for Thomas’s hip problem. As the days went by, a deadline approached for the agreement, to which Boston eventually included a 2020 second-round pick, completing the trade.
Kyrie Irving said of the trade, “Boston came at the right time” and is “glad to be here”.
Despite the incredible haul for both teams, Isaiah Thomas won’t not start the season with the Cavaliers due to his hip injury. His timetable for a return could be as far as February before he can play in any games for the Cavs.
Cleveland does have a viable option at point guard in the meantime, with the signing of former Bull and Knick star Derrick Rose back in July. Although he was slated to be Kyrie Irving’s, the former MVP will be thrust into his familiar role of starting point guard until Thomas is healthy to play again.
Irving averaged 25.2pts and 5.8ast per game last season, and has played every year of his career with Cleveland before the trade. Thomas, just as viable an NBA star, averaged 28.9pts and 5.9ast per game last year, finishing 3rd in the NBA in points per game, behind James Harden and Russell Westbrook. Thomas played for the Sacramento Kings and Phoenix Suns before joining the Celtics in 2014.
The Cavaliers and Celtics will open the 2017-2018 season in Cleveland against each other on October 17th.