This trade will go down in history. pic.twitter.com/bzyht4H9QI
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) August 23, 2017
The last NBA domino fell Tuesday night, and with that this marks the craziest NBA offseason till date. So many super stars changed teams this offseason, and the last one that was left was Kyrie Irving. No one really saw this coming until it became public that he had asked for a trade. A lot of people speculated possible trade scenarios, one team that made sense as a good trade partner for the Cavs was the Celtics. But would they really trade one of their superstars to a team they played in the conference finals just a couple of months ago? That is exactly what they did. The Cavs will be shipping Kyrie up to Boston (Kudos if you get that reference). In exchange the Cavs will be receiving Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and the Nets’ 2018 first round pick.
If we look just at the players involved it seems like a pretty fair trade for both teams, which is rare this day and age in the NBA. Just ask the Pacers and the Bulls that shipped off their superstars for next to nothing. So the Cavs replace Irving’s offense with Thomas, if we look at how Thomas played last year isn’t that much of a drop in production. But, here’s the big but, last year was Thomas’s breakout year, and he will be coming off a serious hip injury. Can he replicate or even come close to the numbers he put up last year? Well he won’t really have to. He was “the guy” in Boston, he won’t be “the guy” in Cleveland. Any player that plays with LeBron takes a step up. LeBron is just that great, he makes those around him better. Jae Crowder is a solid two-way player, that helps take the pressure off LeBron when it comes to guarding stars like KD. Zizic I know nothing about, other than that he’s a young center. The key here is that 2018 Nets’ first rounder. I beleive including the 2018 first rounder gives the edge to the Cavs as winners of this trade. When people were speculating what pieces the Cavs can get for Kyrie it seemed like the Cavs could go one of two ways. Get young stars in return and build for the future, or get veterans and win now. The latter is the approach the Cavs had been taking thus far. But they kinda did both. They got good players in return that fill up some holes they have, and now have a potential top 5 pick in next years draft. Two birds, one Kyrie.
What did the Celtics get back? They got one of the best scoring point guards in the league. People will look back and point out Kyrie wasn’t anything before LeBron showed up. Yeah he was a young developing guard, Kyrie now vs Kyrie pre LeBron are two completely different players. I’m a Warriors fan, in these past three finals, LeBron scared me, but Kyrie scared the crap out of me. He was a monster, I remember last year some of the crazy shots he made. Seemed like anything he threw up went in. And the way he finishes at the glass, he might be the best finisher in the league. He’s also only 25 and under contract for a couple more years, unlike Thomas. The Celtics also got to keep their young stars Tatum and Brown. The draft can be hit or miss, and from what we saw in summer league (take this with a huge grain of salt) Tatum looks like the real deal. From what it seems like the Cavs wanted either Tatum or the Nets’ pick, why trade a known commodity for a POTENTIAL star in next years draft.
I think this is the rare instance where both teams became better. One received a young superstar wanting to be “the man”, and the other getting great quality players and have a great draft pick to build upon in the future.
That brings us to the last part of this article, the Cavs future. I’m not sure when this rumor about LeBron leaving next offseason started but its caught on like wildfire. It seems like a foregone conclusion that he’s leaving next year and going to the Lakers. I grew up a Lakers fan and am still a Lakers fan, I would want nothing more than the best player on the planet coming to my team. (I know earlier I said I’m a Warriors fan its complicated). All the evidence we have now is “LeBron has a house in LA”, “LeBron wants to start building his life after basketball in LA”, “LeBron wants to be the first player to win a championship on three different teams.” These are the same people that were shitting on Kyrie for wanting to leave a team that contends for the title every year. Why would he leave a contender to go elsewhere? Why aren’t they asking the same question about LeBron!!?? Why would he leave a team he just took to three straight finals to go to a Lakers team that has been a lottery team for the past five years. What sense would that make? I think the biggest factor fanning this rumor is the fact LeBron hasn’t signed long term and he hasn’t come out to deny that rumor. But why should he have to come out to deny a rumor the media made up? That’s only giving them more material. He’ll make his “Decision part III” when he wants, as we’ve seen in the past.
All I know is last year we all just waited for the finals, because it seemed like everything else didn’t matter. This year should be a different story, we have all the super teams out west, and now have a personal rivalry in the east. October 17th can’t come soon enough!
What are your thoughts on this NBA offseason and any possible predictions for the season to come, leave them down below in the comment section!