What started like any other day in the NBA off-season would end with huge changes for the league but in particular the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Boston Celtics. Late on August 22, 2017 it was official, the “Kyrie trade” had happened. Kyrie Irving had requested a trade at the beginning of the summer and he finally got what he wanted. Let’s go through this trade and give it Nate’s trade grades.
Though this trade has been labeled “The Kyrie Trade” by many, I think that maybe it should’ve been called “The Bundle Trade”. I say that because I think the bundle from the Celtics is the real story here. Many teams tried to get Kyrie to come to their team but couldn’t seem seal the deal with the Cavaliers organization. Reportedly the Phoenix Suns actually never really had a shot at the trade but the Milwaukee Bucks and the Atlanta Hawks were very close to reaching a deal for Irving. Ultimately though, it would be the Boston Celtics who would land the multi time NBA Playoffs and NBA Finals starting Point Guard. With that, here’s how I grade each end of the trade.
Let’s start with the Celtics side of this trade shall we? To start, the Celtics gave away Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic, Brooklyn’s unprotected 2018 first-round draft pick, and Isaiah Thomas. In return, they received Kyrie Irving from the Cleveland Cavaliers. Not a great trade by itself for the Celtics if you ask me. Now when you combine it with recent roster moves the Celtics have made the deal gets a little better. Celtics are likely hoping that Irving will be the last missing piece of their team, but I’m not so sure he is.
If the Celtics could’ve acquired Irving while keeping Isaiah Thomas, the trade would’ve benefited the Celtics greatly. However gaining Irving while losing Thomas does nothing for the team in my opinion. The only thing I can see it doing for the Celtics is, it gives them an insider from the Cavs’ and may make it easier to attract certain players to the team. This trade is still a little puzzling from the Celtics. Especially considering Kyrie’s history of injuries that have more than once cut his season short, and the recent trade offers the Celtics have declined.
Recently the owner of the Celtics refused to trade Brooklyn’s unprotected 2018 first-round draft pick alone for starters like NBA Playoffs and NBA All-Star Small Forward Paul George. So why trade it away now for something you already have basically? At any rate the Celtics for now have a starting five that includes the trio of Al Horford, Gordon Hayward, and Kyrie Irving. And for those reasons I give the Celtics a “C+” on their end of the trade. They’re a great team for sure but I don’t think Irving brings much more to the team than Thomas did.
You may think that the Cavs’ loss something huge when you first hear about this trade, but hear it out first. The Cleveland Cavaliers gave the Celtics Kyrie Irving in exchange for Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic, Brooklyn’s unprotected 2018 first-round draft pick, and Isaiah Thomas. So to simplify that, the Cavs’ got one draft pick and three players for a player that wanted to leave anyways. This was a pretty good deal for the Cavaliers in my opinion. They were able to meet the trade request of a player and gain a player that pretty well fills the blank spot the traded player left perfectly.
This trade was a great way to avoid what would’ve been the future catastrophe of losing both LeBron James and Irving at the same time or close to it. Irving wanted a trade away from James, and James recently has considered a move from the Cavaliers claiming he(James) and the ownership of the team are “just too far apart”. But this trade seems to have fixed all that, if nothing else for now at least. But now the Celtics become a serious contender in the NBA Eastern Conference and the could spell some trouble for the Cavs’ in the future.
The questions for the Cavaliers going forward are plentiful still. What will happen with LeBron and is he worried about the Celtics? Will Thomas fit well with the Cavs’ and will he and LeBron get along? And of course, how do they stop the Golden State Warriors and can Thomas help them do so? Plenty of questions for sure and only time will answer them it seems. No doubt a big move for both teams.
Walker’s Words of Wisdom
This trade is huge and has major league changing aspects to it! Now that Kyrie is off the table, will the teams that were bidding for him go for someone else? This trade will likely shake up the NBA Eastern Conference and could greatly alter the NBA Finals picture from that of last year. I don’t believe Kyrie will do much for the Celtics that Thomas couldn’t have done but their new starting five will be a big deal. Watch for a good season from the Boston Celtics and expect a ton of Kyrie Irving Celtic jerseys to sell over the year.
And as for the Cavaliers, I believe the trade will show to be a great success or an absolute failure for them! Either James and Thomas will get along and it will be smooth sailing, or they will clash with one another and it will lead to rough waters and possibly even the sinking of the ship so to speak. That said, Thomas is an awesome player not to mention to other two players and the draft pick. This will likely help the Cavs’ late in the season and possibly the NBA Playoffs if LeBron stays hyped.
Nate’s Trade Grades:
Cleveland Cavaliers: B+
(traded Kyrie Irving for Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic, Brooklyn’s unprotected 2018 first-round draft pick, and Isaiah Thomas)
The Cavs’ get a “B+” because they traded away a player who wanted traded and the trade helps in other ways as well. The trade for the Cavs’ took a lot of tension off the team, it brought them multiple new faces(thus jerseys to sell), and it may have helped keep LeBron on the team. This trade may have saved the Cavilers’ dynasty reign in the NBA. Great trade for the Cavs’ and one we’ll be talking about for a while to come.
Boston Celtics: C+
(traded Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic, Brooklyn’s unprotected 2018 first-round draft pick, and Isaiah Thomas for Kyrie Irving)
The Celtics get a “C+” on this trade because they gave up a lot for someone who has a little more talent than the player they had before. In my opinion the Celtics probably could’ve done this trade for about half the price. The Celtics could’ve likely successfully traded just Thomas and the draft pick and acquired Kyrie from the Cavs’. I also think they should’ve taken the trade of the draft pick for Paul George and tried their luck with that team. If they would’ve taken George for the draft pick then, they now could’ve traded Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic, and Isaiah Thomas for Irving. But because they gain some inside knowledge, some talent, and a big name with the addition of Irving I give them a “C+” on this trade.