Kyrie Got What He Wanted, Or Has He?
The NBA is one of the sports in the world that stays relevant all year round. This culminated in Kyrie Irving finally being traded from the Cleveland Cavaliers to the Boston Celtics for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic, and the Brooklyn Nets first-round pick in next year’s draft. In my years of following the NBA, I cannot remember 2 top conference teams trading with each other. Usually teams are so conscious of helping out one of their rivals that will not trade in-conference. This did not put off these teams.
For me the trade was good for both teams. Cleveland got a good hall back for a superstar that had made it known he did not want to be there any longer and play in the shadow of LeBron. They got Isaiah Thomas, who has just had the best season of his career in Boston. There was always the question if the Celtics were going to pay IT the maximum next summer; obviously they did not feel comfortable with that. The stats prove that Guards fewer than 6 feet going into their 30’s, their production goes down significantly. So they did not want to pay IT in excess of $30 million when he is 34. That dilemma is now with the Cavs. They also got a solid wing defender in Crowder and an unknown European quantity in Ante Zizic. Maybe the most important commodity in this trade was the Nets draft pick. This could turn out to be a top 5 pick or they can use this as a trade piece in another deal (Watch out if the Boogie Cousins-New Orleans experiment does not work then Cleveland could be a destination if the Pelicans don’t want to lose him for nothing next summer). Now some people are unhappy that Boston did this deal. They felt that it was a betrayal to IT after all the contributions he has made over the last 2 years and he deserved better. Danny Ainge is going to be under serious pressure they don’t end up on the right side of this deal. But they do get a superstar calibre player in Irving. The Celtics must feel that they can convince Kyrie to re-sign with them when his current deal runs out in less than 2 years. There is also pressure on Kyrie too; he wanted to be ‘the man’ on a team. Well now you’ve got it and now is the time to show if you have what it takes to lead a team to the Finals. A plus point for him his new Coach Brad Stevens is easily the best he will have played for his NBA career. Just think what plays Stevens can drum up for Irving, I’m looking forward to that. Now have a Big 3 of Irving, Al Horford and newly signed free agent Gordon Hayward but yet the Cavs are still the favourites in the East, why? Cause they have the best player in the world still playing for them, albeit if it’s for only one more season.
All the above is what I wrote last weekend. Now just days after the trade was announced by both teams, reports are suggesting that Cleveland are not happy with the state of IT’s hip injury and that he may not be able to make the start of next season. This could mean the trade could get voided and all players could stay where they are. This has the potential to be the greatest trade that never was and Kyrie has the proposition of having to go back to the Cavs; super awkward. According to reports, the Cavs want either Jaylen Brown or Jayson Tatum as an addition to the already agreed trade. So it is now essentially a question of which team blinks first, do the Celtics sent the Cavs another assist to sweeten the deal or do they say that this is their final offer. If I were the Celtics I wouldn’t offer Cleveland anything else and if they want to start next with a Point Guard who doesn’t want to be then good luck to them. The thing to worry for Boston is that if the trade gets voided then the Cavs could trade Kyrie to another team which could leave the Celtics embarrassed that they didn’t get the deal done. It’s gonna be so interesting to find how this goes down.