OK I get it, losing Kyrie Irving in the middle of a three-year run to the NBA Finals isn’t exactly the most comfortable feeling in the world. I mean he is regarded as one of the premiere point guards in the NBA, and many attest that his handle is the best they’ve seen since Allen Iverson. Not to mention that he may be the most talented ‘scorer’ LeBron James has ever played with. . .
So then, what went wrong?
For starters Kyrie obviously has some sucka in him. At least just a little. Obviously. Players like Jordan and Magic were iconic because they placed winning over EVERYTHING. . . Irving apparently is more concerned with personal accolades, his shoe deal and being ‘the man’.
More than that once the news was released that Irving no longer wanted to be a Cavalier, Cleveland had no choice. We had to trade him. Not because it was the popular move to make (because it wasn’t), but because you can’t carry that kind of drama over into a season that you’re expected to be a title contender in. It would be crippling your chances from the inside out.
Plainly put – keeping Irving on this roster was no longer an option.
So, about this deal. . .
The Cavaliers sent Kyrie Irving to the Boston Celtics for Isiaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and a first-round pick. The pick is unprotected – meaning that it could potentially land the Cavaliers another top-5 prospect in the next NBA Draft. With rumors swirling that this may be LeBron’s final year in Northeast Ohio, obtaining that draft pick could prove to be pivotal.
Here’s why the Cavs won the trade. . .
The skill-set between Thomas and Irving is comparable. They are both shoot-heavy guards who can create their own shots off the dribble. Kyrie has more range and a better handle, but that doesn’t mean Thomas is a slouch. IT was also third in NBA scoring in 2016 by averaging just under 29 points per game, a stat that is expected to take a slight dip once he’s paired with LBJ. People also forget that Thomas received MVP votes for his campaign a year ago, something that Irving has yet to do.
I’d also like to point out that Kyrie saw his best shooting percentage years while playing with LeBron, a stat that will dip for him now that he’s not next to such a solid scoring option. Thomas’ shooting percentage numbers – much like Irving’s – will increase because now he’ll have more open looks than he’s used to.
Jae Crowder is an interesting piece to me. While he isn’t regarded as a top-tier scorer, he did shoot just under 40% from three a season ago. He’s also very solid from the free-throw line (career 76%), an oft-area of concern for the Cavs.
The third player involved in the trade is rookie Ante Zizic. He’a 7-foot, first-round pic of the Celtics (23rd overall) that can dunk and block shots. He’s played professionally overseas and his most recent coach – get this – was ex-Cavs coach David Blatt.
I’ve heard that his nickname is Baby Shaq. Here’s why:
The last piece in this deal is an unprotected first-round pick that the Celtics acquired from the Brooklyn Nets. So that mean when the Nets are horrible – which they will be – the Cavs could potentially have secured themselves a top-ten draft pick for next year.
So add all that up and what do you get? (Well, besides some bull-you-know-what that could’ve been avoided had Kyrie just concerned himself with WINNING)
You get a more well rounded Cavaliers roster. You get to go back to the Finals. And you get a future first round pic.
Win. Win. Win.
All for the Cavaliers.