Kyrie Irving requested a trade at the end of the 2017 NBA Championship series against the Golden State Warriors. Sources close to the 25-year-old point guard claimed that he was tired of being in the shadow of LeBron James. Sad part of the trade was back in July, Irving spoke with Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert about being traded. Irving has said he wanted to play in a situation where he was the focal point and he was no longer interested in playing with LeBron James.
Boston will acquire Kyrie Irving for point guard Isaiah Thomas, forward Jae Crowder, center Ante Zizic and the Brooklyn Nets’ 2018 unprotected first round pick. Look at the salaries involved. Irving has three years and 60 million dollars left on his contract. He can opt out of his contract before 2019-2020 season. Isaiah Thomas put up great numbers this past season averaging 28.9 points with 5.9 assists playing over 33.8 minutes a game. But the eye winking factor is the hip surgery he just had a few months ago. Danny Ainge, Boston’s general manager has made some great trades over the past 4 years. Not only is he acquiring good players, but he’s gaining draft picks along the way. Boston has 5 unprotected picks over the next 4 years. Isaiah Thomas is due for a max contract at the end of June. He can sign and extension with Cleveland or test the free agency market. Jae Crowder is the enigma to the trade. He can play the small forward along side LeBron or J.R Smith or Iman Shumpart. Why add him (Crowder) to a roster that is filled with guys that play the same position? Boston had to dump his contract in order to find a swingman that can defend on the perimeter and play with his back to the post.
I think that the trade was very smart on the Celtics part. If you look at the projected starting 5 for both teams. The Celtics are much younger and more athletic across the board. Listed below is the projected starting line up for both teams this year.
Cleveland Cavaliers Boston Celtics
PG Isaiah Thomas PG Kyrie Irvin
SG J.R. Smith SG Jaylen Brown
SF LeBron James SF Gordon Hayward
PF Kevin Love PF Marcus Morris
C Tristan Thomas C Al Horford