It finally happened and boy it didn’t disappoint. Kyrie Irving was traded and headed to the Boston Celtics for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and the Brooklyn Net’s 2018 unprotected first-round pick. I really like this trade and I think this is a win-win for both teams. And this happens just as it looked like Cleveland was struggling coming up with a decent trade.
Cleveland gets better by replacing Irving with Thomas while adding Crowder. Thomas isn’t better than Irving but is a capable substitute while Crowder brings good defense and much needed depth. I can’t say what Zizic brings to the table except for a cool name. I think this team could be better than last season’s assuming everyone gels in Cleveland’s system. For the future Cleveland would have a top 5 pick to help infuse the team with some young talent. If Thomas plays well and Cleveland wants to retain him they can look at re-signing him once his contract is over at the end of the season. It also means that if LeBron James leaves in free agency, something I don’t think will happen, they’ll have the Nets’ pick, can let Thomas go, find a new home for whatever holdovers are still on contract and start from scratch. In theory they have all their bases covered.
Boston gets a 25 year-old stud of a point guard for at least two years. Irving may not be there past two years but if he is he can definitely be the cornerstone for years to come. Combined with Gordon Hayward, Al Horford and some of the other young pieces they have to include the #3 pick in this year’s draft, Jayson Tatum, Boston should compete for years to come. As with any trade you must worry about how players will gel but I’d expect this to be a good team. If Irving does leave you still get two years of his top caliber play and Boston has stock piled other first-round picks which should help them reload or can be used to trade for top talent.