Cavs, Celtics Swap Kyrie Irving For Package Including Isaiah Thomas

9:39pm: The trade is official, the Cavs confirmed in a press release. The Celtics also issued an announcement confirming the deal.Kyrie Irving vertical

6:23pm: The Celtics and Cavaliers have reached an agreement on a deal that will send Irving to Boston in exchange for a package headlined by Thomas, reports Shams Charania of The Vertical (via Twitter). Brian Windhorst of ESPN first reported (via Twitter) that the two teams were on the verge of a deal.

According to both Charania and Windhorst, the Cavs will receive Crowder, Zizic, and the Nets’ 2018 first-round pick (unprotected) in addition to Thomas. Charania also tweets that Irving will waive his trade kicker so that the deal can be completed. Here is Charania’s full story.

5:47pm: Boston center Ante Zizic is also expected to be part of a potential deal with Cleveland for Irving, tweets Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. Bobby Marks of ESPN adds (Twitter link) that receiving Thomas, Crowder, and Zizic for Irving would save the Cavs $19MM in taxes. The team’s projected tax bill would lower from $78.4MM to $59.2MM.

5:30pm: The Cavaliers and Celtics are actively discussing trades centered around Kyrie Irving and Isaiah Thomas, according to Shams Charania of The Vertical (Twitter link). ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski adds that the two sides are discussing the inclusion of Jae Crowder as well as the addition of future draft picks heading from Boston to Cleveland.

Irving requested a trade from Cleveland last month and included a short list of destination which he would prefer to be dealt to should the team honor his request. Boston was not on that list, but all of the teams—Spurs, Heat, Wolves, and Knicks—with the exception of New York have strong coaching structures in place. The Celtics also have that element with Brad Stevens running the show, so it’s possible Irving would be open to a trade to the New England area.

Of course, Irving does not wield a no-trade clause, meaning the Cavs could ostensibly deal him anywhere they prefer. However, it was previously reported that the team was working with Irving to find a solution that worked for both sides.

Thomas is entering the last season of his contract, one that will pay him just over $6.26MM for the 2017/18 campaign. He should see a massive raise with his next contract, possibly approaching the max, which is something that could negatively impact his trade value.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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111 thoughts on “Cavs, Celtics Swap Kyrie Irving For Package Including Isaiah Thomas

  1. TDKnies

    Would be pretty sweet if it happened. It’d give us a good storyline to watch in the East which is important since GS likely runs away with the West again.

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  2. dodgerfan711

    So the Cavs are going to trade kyrie for someone about to be a free agent? They better go all in because after 17-18 they are going into free fall

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    • Considering LeBron is expected to leave in a year, it makes sense. Allows them to reset quicker (and be bad quicker) if Thomas walks at the end of the year as opposed to having a roster that is just good enough to not be a bottom 5 team.

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      • dodgerfan711

        I didnt think the pick would be the Nets pick. That changes everything. Cavs do very well in this deal

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    • Reflect

      There would be draft picks or important pieces going to Cleveland also, I presume.

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    • Also probably getting the #1 pick next year. Considering the circumstances seems like a close to even trade although obviously if Irving had never asked for a trade, this would look much worse for the Cavs.

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  3. CAVS0223

    They’re trying to get an unprotected pick too. Boston has too many assets and wants as much talent as they can get for the next few years. Cavs looking to compete with IT and build if Bron leaves.

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    • PasswordIsPassword

      I think the celtics are the only team to ever have too many assets

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  4. Philly Fan

    Woj also reports that Zizic would be part of the deal. Thomas, Crowder, Morris, and Zizic would work in terms of salary. It is a good win now trade for the Cavs without the inclusion of a draft pick. With one, it’s a trade they should make asap, even though the pick is probably not Brooklyn’s or LA/SAC’s.

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    • bostonBen

      I would take that in a heartbeat. I hope this happens. Then at least we get one season of interesting storyline. I am a Celtics fan, but as a general basketball fan, I want to see the absolutely insane numbers IT would put up with defenses focusing on Lebron.

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    • x%sure

      Marcus Morris cannot be traded until Sept.7.

      Celts have unusual versatility in this salary area. Brown, Smart and Rozier would also work with Crowder, Thomas and Zizic. A problem with trading for Marc Gasol is a lack of players in this range to give depth to the PG and Durant-marking positions. The Celts can check that off.

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      • Philly Fan

        My fault. I forgot the traded player exception comes into play and the Celtics only had to get within 5 million of Kyrie’s salary.

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  5. Somewhat surprising to see the top seeds in the East swap star players. Makes sense, but still…

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  6. I’m sorry but giving up IT, Crowder, and Zizc for Irving would make C’s worse and if they included an unprotected draft pick in the deal that would be insane.
    It would also mean the C’s would’ve lost 4 out 5 starters from last year’s team and the net from their last 2 trades would be Bradley, Morris, IT, Crowder, Zizic, and draft pick(s) for just Irving.

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    • And wouldn’t have to give an undersized PG 30 million next year. Huge upgrade at the PG and too many picks to roster anyway. You can’t really count Bradley and Morris together due to them being traded for each other. The Celts would never with a championship with IT as their starting PG and Ainge knows that.

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  7. beany_boy

    BOSTON — While the potential trade between Boston and Cleveland may center around a pair of All-Stars in Isaiah Thomas and Kyrie Irving, the key to this deal getting done may come down to rookie Jayson Tatum.

    A league source tells CSNNE.com that the Cavs didn’t want to do a deal with the Celtics if Tatum, taken with the third overall pick in last June’s NBA draft by Boston, wasn’t included.

    A different league source said the two teams are negotiating now and that the inclusion of Tatum has been among the possible options as far as getting a deal done.

    Multiple reports indicated that the Celtics are putting together a package centered around Thomas, Jae Crowder, a young player on a rookie contract deal as well as potential draft pick(s).

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    • IT, Crowder and a pick is better than what they could get from another team. Financial implications and talent. I don’t think Tatum is a requirement and I don’t think Ainge would include him. We will see.

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  8. Lefty_Orioles_Fan
    Lefty_Orioles_Fan

    Drat!!! Irving would have looked good in a 76ers Jersey
    Oh well.

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    • x%sure

      I might prefer that too, to remove Philly as a Lebron destination 2018. IMO they are possible and the Celts less so.

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        • I think that nail was put into the coffin when Hayward signed there. Fitting LeBron under a max deal (to go along with Hayward and Horford) would’ve been a financial obstacle course for Boston. It also would’ve made at least one of Brown/Tatum expendable.

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      • Regi Green

        Thats what you’re hoping for…im hoping Lebron comes to Philly and battles him for the Division.

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  9. beany_boy

    It’s done:

    Shams Charania @ShamsCharania

    Cleveland and Boston have agreement on deal to send Kyrie Irving to the Celtics for Isaiah Thomas package to Cavs, sources tell The Vertical

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  10. RAM813

    Kyrie is one of my favorite players but Cleveland won the trade with the addition of the 18 Nets pick. This could be a top 3 pick, even 1st pick.

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  11. nelsoncruz23

    Wtf. Celtics got ripped off. A starting 3 and top 3 pick for one extra year of control. Happy though, since I am a Wizards fan. John Wall still better than both.

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  12. KnicksCavsFan

    I’m more of a Irving fan and was completely upset that he choose to demand the trade. I hate the Celtics and hate the idea of having to root against him. That being said, this deal is probably the best I’ve heard since the Suns were unwilling to include Josh Jackson. That being said, it sets the Cavs up in a few ways.

    a) Irving > Thomas but having Thomas, a legit 25 per game scorer, can still give the Cavs a great big 3. Still not enough to beat the GSW probably but I think good enough to win the East, especially with D. Rose in the mix. The fact that Thomas will be on the floor with LBJ and Love means he’s less likely to be double teamed like he was in Boston.

    b) The 1st rnd pick can be super valuable should the Nets be a horrible team last year. They could either use the potential lottery pick for a mid-season trade for another star player (maybe something like 1st overall for Melo and multiple 1st rnd picks) OR they can just hold on to it.

    c) If LBJ departs then they would save $32 mil off the books, move Kevin Love (who shouldn’t be tough to move if he’s healthy) and collect additional assets for a full blown rebuild.

    d) I actually think LBJ might be tempted to stay if there’s a super impactful draft class coming soon.

    That Nets pick is the difference maker.

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    • Philly Fan

      It’s quite the haul for Cleveland. Thomas was a 30 ppg scorer last year and will equal what Kyrie did for the Cavs. Crowder is an excellent role player and has a low cost contract. The Brooklyn pick is potentially top 10 as they’ll likely be a 10-12 seed in the East and many lottery teams in the West will be better than them

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      • KnicksCavsFan

        A kid born in Brooklyn, relocated as a young adult to Cleveland by my then employer then took a job in Miami in 2011 the same year LBJ came yet I refused to root for the LBJ/Miami Heat just on principle. I’m a die hard Knicks fan who has love for the gritty yet lovable city of Cleveland.

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        • yoyo137

          Aye man I had clowned on you for being a Knicks and Cavs fan before but I got respect for you now my dude

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  13. formerlyz

    Wow…i always thought they made the most sense, but just didn’t think it would happen b/c of the excess value Boston would have to send to match salaries, and the obvious factor of it being these 2 teams at the top of the conference right now.

    I personally think this is a pretty big overpay by the Celtics, and I’d feel a lot better about it for them if they hadn’t lost Bradley and now Crowder, but i also think its a great fit, assuming Smart and Brown can defend at high levels and provide enough offensively with their roles increasing. Let’s be honest, as much as I like IT, and I feel he is more of a willing playmaker than Kyrie, Kyrie is 25 years old and can get you iso baskets down the stretch of games, when you need it. His ability 1 on 1 is important in the half court, and the size difference allows him to play in more physical situations than IT, when he was the only guy being zeroed in on in a playoff series. What IT did last year was amazing. It’s not like Kyrie is a ridiculously massive upgrade offensicely this year. But IT is a FA after the season, and you have Kyrie for 2 years, amd youd feel more comfortable paying Kyrie at 27 than you would IT next year…

    Awesome move by Cleveland. Have to give them props for getting this done, and getting Crowder and the Nets pick, plus a potential big they could use for the 1 extra year of Kyrie. They needed the depth badly, especially the defensive help on the wing. Now they have assets they can use to keep things going, move money, or obviously to recover a bit after Lebron leaves as well…it always sucks having to move a young guy like Kyrie, but I think they did a good job of at least helping the team while doing it

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    • KnicksCavsFan

      (Psssst)..and they did it without David Griffin. I like Griff but I wondered why ppl thought nothing could get done once he left? Just because Gilbert didn’t name a GM for a few weeks the team still had ppl on staff that were tending to his duties.

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      • Pihc123

        Of Griff were still in Cleveland, you’d hear of the next trade within 24 hours e.g. The stuff they sent to Ny for JR and Shump then turn around and deal the pick and Waiters for Mozgov.

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      • formerlyz

        I dont know about that stuff, but especially for what Jimmy Butler went for, this is a really good deal for Cleveland

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        • Pihc123

          That stuff is no longer playing in the NBA where as JR and Shump are now Champs.

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  14. x%sure

    Thomas6.3, Crowder6.8, and Zizic1.6 = 14.7, and 125% of 14.7 = 18.3 which does not reach Irving’s $18.9MM. I can see why this would save Gilbert a bit on taxes but not how it’s legal.

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    • x%sure

      Nevermind, I was using the 2017 figures for the Celtic players. Delete?

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      • Philly Fan

        I think Boston only has to come within 5 million of Kyrie’s salary. That’s what the Rockets did for Chris Paul

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  15. GMB 883

    Great trade for the Celtics. Kyrie Irving is a top 10 or 12 player. Watch what he does playing for Brad Stevens. LaBron is leaving Cleveland at the end of the year and so will Isiah Thomas. He’s a free agent and right now his hip is a concern. But I would not be surprised if he signs with the Celtics in a year and plays with Kyrie Irving. At least the Cavs have the unprotected Brooklyn pick, Crowder and Ziznic as some pieces to build with if and when LaBron and Isiah leave.

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    • x%sure

      I would be VERY surprised if IT goes back to Boston. I would drop that prediction! Fits with Lebron leaving Cle though.

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    • Isaiah Thomas/Kyrie Irving guard duo would be terrible defensively. Granted Irving’s defensive issues are more effort related (as opposed to Thomas’ being size related), but you wouldn’t be able to hide Thomas on defense in that scenario. The Celtics were able to hide Thomas on defense by playing two of Bradley/Smart/Crowder at the same time with him.

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  16. canajay12

    Cleveland gets the haul they needed and that only Boston could provide and afford.

    Boston doesn’t lose as much as it looks, Kyrie gives you the offence IT did and then some, Brown and Tatum can give you what crowder does and more long term upside plus they have enough young guys and picks still that they can get by without the Nets pick.

    meanwhile the Cavs are a good team still if Lebron leaves. Love, IT, Crowder, TT and a top pick… They’re relevant even if Bron goes.

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    • Relevant in what world? They’d be like the old Hawks. A regular season team that would get embarrassed in the playoffs

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      • KnicksCavsFan

        Who knows what the East will look like or where LBJ would go (if he does) but IT with Love and whatever the 1st rnder becomes is still a top 3 team in the East most likely.

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  17. x%sure

    Cavs may not be done. Smith and Shumpert have been basically upgraded– indeed there is no room for Tavaras on the roster now– and that unprotected Brk pick is currency. I’m still hoping for a Gasol…

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  18. Great trade for Boston. Cleveland probably jumped at the first legitimate offer they got, likely from fear, and probably too soon. Although they were never going to win a KI deal (like OKC was never going to win the Harden deal), they could have gotten a better long term lead piece in return than IT. Boston balances out their roster (had 4 guys who’s best spot is the 3) and cures it’s two biggest longer term flaws: (1) lack of true top 20 or better player (IMO, KI is that now and will be better as the lead guy, including facilitating and defending); and (2) being dependent on a tiny PG that can’t defend and who could be un-signable after this year. This validates trading out of the Fultz/Ball option for Tatum before any of the 3 have played a game. They closed the “gap” with Cleveland with this deal (IMO it was still there and significant, and now its gone).

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    • Irving has never been a facilitator in his career. He can be, but he’s always been a shoot-first point guard. In Stevens’ offense that could change (especially with Hayward around) but Kyrie will always be a shoot-first guy (if he wanted to be a better facilitator, he wouldn’t have asked for a trade to be “the guy” on a new team). And defensively, if Irving truly is “the guy” on the Celtics, theres less reason for him to try harder on defense. If anything the only reason Irving will be a better defender than Thomas is because Irving’s issues are effort related whereas Thomas’ are size related. But most players (not all) seem to be inclined to take it easy on defense when they’re relied upon offensively.

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      • KnicksCavsFan

        Thomas was a shoot first PG too but when you play with LBJ it doesn’t matter as much.

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      • Never? LOL. He was a very young and immature player before LeBron came (playing with other kids). He was late to the game and lost his only college season at Duke to injury. He’s a special talent. He’s won’t be J. Kidd (passing the ball), but he (thankfully) won’t be him shooting it either. He’ll be an upgrade from IT there and on defense, as well as the ability to score against the most elite defenses.

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    • x%sure

      Cleveland should have gotten another player. Maybe Boston doesn’t do the deal with Jaylen Brown added, but there is good talent even at the bottom of their roster. Boston won with depth and teamwork last year, now they have starpower… yes the gap has closed. The Brk pick won’t help Cle until the future if ever.

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      • KnicksCavsFan

        depends on if they use it as trade bait or not. if Pelicans struggle and Cousins becomes available I could see some sort of a swap if Cousins can be extended.

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      • Thats the point of the pick though. This gives Cleveland a potential lottery pick to build around if/when LeBron leaves. Otherwise it would’ve been a long and slow process to rebuild. The Nets pick, assuming Cleveland holds onto it, quickens up the potential rebuild just enough to not be a total mess at the bottom of the standings.

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        • x%sure

          Well you know… we’ve been a total mess at the bottom before… and got the picks for James, Irving and Love. Gilbert just cut salaries and attended to his other businesses until the Cavs’ ship came in. We might lose Austin Carr broadcasting on TV in the next downturn though. Meantime Carr should have fun with IT!
          Ready for go time– title within reach!

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          • KnicksCavsFan

            That’s a little deceiving. It isn’t as if free agents were begging to come to Cleveland after LBJ departed. Gilbert seems committed to wanting to win. It still requires guys wanting to play in Ohio. To their credit, the Irving led Cavs did have 3 consecutive years of increased wins prior to LBJ coming back (21 wins to 23 wins to 33 wins). Gilbert had eyes on Kevin Love even before LBJ but Love had informed the Cavs that he wouldn’t resign if he was traded to Cleveland (that was before LBJ announced he was coming back).

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  19. KCelts

    Boston is building something magnificent. I am saddened to see IT and Crowder go; those were two of my favorite players. That being said, look at this team now.

    Kyrie Irving-Marcus Smart-Gordon Hayward-Marcus Morris-Al Horford with Jayson Tatum-Jaylen Brown-Terry Rozier-Aron Baynes-Guerschon Yabusele-Shane Larkin all on the bench. Plus they can still make moves in the future to give them more ammo.

    Basically, I am floored that we were able to swing Kyrie without having to give up Jaylen, Tatum, Smart, or the Lakers pick.

    It’s a GREAT TIME to be a Celtics fan.

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    • Well the Brooklyn pick is likely to be worse (better draft position-worse) than the Lakers pick. That Lakers’ pick might not even go to Boston this year. And considering how deep this upcoming draft is projected to be, the Brooklyn pick is far more valuable than what is likely to be the Sacramento pick in two years.

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      • KCelts

        I think lots of people forget Brooklyn is going to be much better this year and lots of other teams have gotten wayyyy worse. It’s going to still be a decent pick, but nowhere near as valuable as it was when the offseason started.

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        • KnicksCavsFan

          Why would the Nets be much better? They traded/let go Lopez and Bogdanovic, there two best scorers and added Russel, Mozzy and Crabtree. Russell MIGHT be a good fit for them and MAYBE he will stay past this year. The EAST certainly lost a few stars but I don’t think the Nets are better than any team outside of maybe Atlanta who should see a big slide.

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          • KCelts

            Look at their roster now:

            Russell-Lin-Crabbe-Carroll-Mozgov are likely the starters with Hollis-Jefferson as a sixth man and Acy, Booker, and Harris as role players. That’s actually not that terrible. I don’t know if they’ll make the playoffs, but they certainly got a lot better than they were last year.

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  20. KnicksCavsFan

    So do you think the Cavs will keep the Nets pick or trade it? I could see a mid-season trade involving Smith or Shump + 1st overall for Cousins and stuff, Melo and lots of stuff and who knows who might be available during the season.

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    • Depends on if LeBron makes a definitive decision to stay in Cleveland. If he says he’ll stay, I can see them trading it for another star. If he says he’s leaving or doesn’t commit either way, they should keep it. I think the pick is the most important part of this trade for Cleveland. Thomas/Crowder gives Cleveland at least one more shot at a championship with LeBron while also giving them a backup plan if/when LeBron leaves.

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      • KnicksCavsFan

        I agree with everything you say. Cousins w/ an extension pre-negotiated would be interesting.

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  21. imindless
    imindless

    Celtics got fleeced for the same player they had in Thomas. I love it, celtics just cost themselves for years to come. Celtics won’t beat cavs this year and going forward sixers have a better roster on paper than celtics.

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  22. The trade makes sense for both sides honestly. Irving is better than Thomas on both sides of the ball and has the higher potential to at least not be a liability defensively (Thomas is limited by his size and outside of bulking up there is really not much he could do whereas Irving’s defensive issues seem to be effort-related).

    For Cleveland, Thomas/Crowder gives Cleveland at least one more shot to win a championship with LeBron. The offensive dropoff from Irving to Thomas isn’t that much, and with the shooters in Cleveland it might open up more/clearer lanes for him. Crowder provides the youngish 3-and-D wing Cleveland has been looking for to play behind/with LeBron. Zizic is a throw in with upside. And the Nets pick gives Cleveland a backup plan. If LeBron will commit to staying in Cleveland, they could use that pick (along with some salaried players) to make a move for another star player. They could also just decide to hold onto it to get more youth on the roster as a future successor to LeBron (not saying whoever comes out into the draft is going to be LeBron-esque good, but LeBron could mentor him to eventually replace him). And if LeBron doesn’t commit to staying, then him and Thomas come off the books and Cleveland is slightly better equipped to go through the rebuilding process.

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    • Connorsoxfan

      Irving is better than IT, but I’m torn on this deal because I’m not sure that Irving is the value of Crowder/Zizic/Nets pick better. Also, side note, I pegged the Nets to be sneaky good this year. Not making the playoffs or anything but I don’t think they finish dead last by far either.

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      • x%sure

        They have a good guard group and that should keep them in games. DRussell, JLinn, and Allen Crabbe, who shoots 44% from 3 and has as many steals as turnovers. I hope they deal that pick in a timely manner!

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        • Unless they can package it for another star (and doing a trade for a star only makes sense if LeBron is willing to commit long term) it makes more sense for Cleveland to hold onto the pick. The 2018 draft projects to be a decent draft (at the top at least). Either way, I don’t see Brooklyn somehow sneaking into the playoffs unless someone like Russell puts up MVP-caliber numbers and the projected better teams (Cleveland, Boston, Charlotte, Washington, Milwaukee, Toronto, etc) all suffer catastrophic injuries to key contributors.

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      • I think Crowder becomes expendable if the Celtics believe Tatum/Brown can replace his production and/or become better than him. Zizic wasn’t that big of a piece in the deal imo. Cleveland obviously wanted him but I see his inclusion into the deal similar to Timofey Mozgov’s inclusion in the Carmelo Anthony trade. In that deal, Denver wanted Mozgov to be included but by no means was he the main piece/most important piece, he was just a young guy already in the NBA with upside and is probably a more reasonable piece in the trade as opposed to a future first (for both sides, safer choice for Cleveland and less valuable than a future first for Boston). The Nets pick does initially seem like a lot, but if the Celtics believe the Nets shouldn’t be “best odds in the lottery” bad, then this pick is a safer option to trade than the Lakers/Kings pick. Also I’ve heard and read reports that said Cleveland asked for Tatum or the Nets pick. And it makes more sense for the Celtics to hold onto Tatum as opposed to holding onto the Nets pick.

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        • x%sure

          Cleveland should have made it “Tatum or Brk’s #1 and Theiss”. Boston was not going to say Tatum regardless

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  23. KnicksCavsFan

    If Dan Gilbert went to LBJ and said hey…if you agree to sign up for two more years (2017-18 plus 18/19 + 19/20) we’ll trade for Melo and two additional Knicks unprotected picks. Do you think the Cavs or Knicks would do it?

    Cavs could possibly head into post-season with LBJ, Melo, IT, Love, D.Rose and the rest. Knicks build around Porzingis, Ntilikina and a potential top 3 2018 pick.

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    • Connorsoxfan

      How does Cleveland manage to acquire 2 unprotected picks here as well as Melo?

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      • KnicksCavsFan

        Some combo of Shump/Smith/Frye + Brooklyn 1st rnder for Melo and two of the Knicks 18/19/20 1st rnd unprotected picks.

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    • I don’t see the Knicks trading two future unprotected picks unless the Nets pick is the #1 pick in the draft. And even then, it would make more sense for the Knicks to hold onto their picks. Getting rid of Melo isn’t worth two unprotected picks (considering the Knicks would likely be a lottery team without Melo).

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    • Huh? Knicks’ pick could easily be higher than the Nets’ pick. Nobody (much less an almost certain lottery team) trades two unprotected 1st rounders unless they’re the Nets. Maybe the Knicks trade Melo for a swap right on the Nets pick or even Cleveland’s own pick (if the contracts coming back aren’t the worst).

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      • KnicksCavsFan

        Ummmm….Brooklyn did. And if the Nets appear to be the worst team in the NBA and there’s a player in the upcoming draft that the Knicks might covet then who knows what can happen.

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  24. GMB 883

    Even if Cleveland offers Isiah Thomas a max contract in a year if Labron leaves and that’s what we hear every day, I think Isiah is leaving as well. Other teams including potentially the Celtics could sign Isiah. Kyrie is 6’3″ and when he wants he can defend. He could play with Isiah. Not sure that would happen but the most important thing is the Celtics didn’t give up Tatum or Brown. That is huge and they still have the Lakers pick that could be 2-5. If not it becomes the Sacramento pick in 2 years. Celtics need one more 5 to split minutes with Baynes so Horford can stay at the 4. Marcus Morris should come off the bench. Very good team that should only get better.

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    • Connorsoxfan

      Boston couldn’t offer IT more than the MLE. They won’t have cap space. Unless they try to sign and trade with Horford or something ridiculous it’s not possible. IT is gone.

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    • I don’t see Isaiah declining a max offer from Cleveland to sign back with the Celtics. The Celtics wouldn’t have enough cap room to offer him a max and he has stated that he is basically looking for the max. Besides, a Thomas/Irving guard duo would be terrible defensively. Irving can be a decent defender, but I don’t see him turning into a near lockdown defender. He definitely wouldn’t be a good enough defender to be able to hide Thomas (as the Celtics did last season with Bradley/Smart/Crowder).

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    • The odds of anyone offering him max are low. A team other than his own doing it, very low. The huge rises in the cap that fueled the summer of 2016 contracts are over. He’ll be in his 30s for the entirety of his next contract (and players that small don’t age well, and he can’t defend now). Only if LeBron returns do I see Cleveland even entertaining it. In any event, he’d likely jump on anything close to that. What other team would offer him a max?

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      • x%sure

        I’ve always liked Thomas, a lot, but as a third guard. Boston got an amazing run from him to go as far as they did.

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        • For an elite team, that’s what he’d be best as. But not at 178-185 mm. He likely won’t have the same stats with Cleveland this year either (even if he plays the entire year). Timing. He’d have gotten what he wanted or close this year if he were a FA.

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  25. KnicksCavsFan

    Ya no…I love Kyrie but I’m no more afraid of a Irving/Heyward/Holford minus Bradley, Crowder, Olynyk team than I was a IT/Heyward/Holford/Crowder team.

    Irving is a more dynamic player but I think the Celtics have lost a lot of depth and defensive minded players (bradley and crowder). Still worth it for Celtics. Let’s go season!!!

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    • Connorsoxfan

      Brown and Smart are ready to step up, and Tatum should be good right off the bat. If they can get someone like Tony Allen in for the minimum, they’re in good shape. Maybe another veteran big as well.

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  26. Ainge is an gm idiot. He doesn’t give up the nets pick for pg, cousins, butler.. instead he gives up It, crowder and the pick, u protected, for Irving..

    Losing IT makes sense, he’s not a max deal player.. crowder, sure, there are two in the wings to cover that… but the pick..

    I rather have seen him hold that pick and offer the lakers/kings pick.. save the nets pick of the pelicans do decide to put Davis on the block. Offer that pick and the Celtics pick and keep the nets pick..

    Bad move ainge.. bad move..

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    • KCelts

      Brooklyn has gotten better while other teams have gotten wayyyyyyyyy worse. That pick isn’t as valuable anymore as it was when the offseason started.

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  27. Spyglass1

    What did Cavs have on Ainge to get him to give up all that?

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  28. Poundsy24

    Ainge just got strongheld by the Cavs… literally threw in the Nets pick to get the deal done… absolutely trash…. saving all the picks and everything to dump just about damn near everything for Kyrie goddamn Irving when IT is basically a small step down… ridiculous… we could’ve had potentially the top 2 picks in a loaded draft class next year or traded for someone that would’ve been a legitimate helpful piece to get past GS… not to take away from Kyrie… but damn Danny, what the hell… you string us along, waiting to make a move and this is the one you make… damn

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  29. x%sure

    Hmmm With Brk’s #1 now in Cleveland, I think the Cavs become the frontrunner for Anthony Davis now too… if nothing else, it is good if they don’t have to play against Davis or Gasol in the playoffs.

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  30. How can zicic be in the deal ? He signed this off season so he cannot be traded till Dec 15th.

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    • He signed a rookie scale contract (as a 1st round pick) not a FA contract.

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  31. Pihc123

    Ainge is not bragging that ITs hip was a moajor concern. So.., doesn’t IT have to pass a physical before the trade is good?

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  32. mcase7187

    That was a bad trade for the C’s they should have given the lakers/kings pick or at least protected it I’m not a fan of this even if it may make us better

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  33. dust44

    Cavs have to make another move of some sort. They do have some ammo to get Melo now. And let’s be honest ur not beat GSt with IT, Korver, Crowder and Zizic as ur big additions in the last full season. (Yes I know Korver was a deadline deal) Curry now becomes the matchup issue because IT, DRose and Calderon won’t b able to keep him in front of them. But now u have Crowder to atleast throw another body at Durant and LeBron can guard Draymond. That’s a better matchup and creates a issue with Zaza guarding Love. So there has to b another upgrade because the ultimate goal for the Cavs shouldn’t b get there it should b win it. I would of rather seen Kyrie for PG straight up and then sign a D minded Point. But the Cavs did win this trade. They r still atleast 1-3 moves away from challenging the Ws still tho

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  34. Connorsoxfan

    Only way IT comes back to Boston is if the hip prevents him from playing at his previous level and he reverts back to providing 6th man production and keeps the injury scare alive. That’s the only feasible way he could return at the value of the MLE because Boston does not retain his bird rights after he is traded, and they won’t have cap room unless they try something weird like a sign and trade involving Horford, which wouldn’t make sense for either team.

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  35. toby312

    Could bulls have gotten this type of value for butler? Curious since I believe bulls were fleeced in their return for him. Having to give them our own first round pick in the trade is huge blunder

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