Central Notes: Irving, Nelson, Pacers

The Celtics and Cavaliers are preparing for their third meeting of the 2017/18 season and the outcome of this past summer’s Kyrie Irving trade is still a hot topic. ESPN’s Kevin Pelton breaks down how the trade that shipped one of the top point guards in the league out of Cleveland can be considered a lopsided bust.

Pelton notes that the consensus, in the beginning, was that the Cavaliers’ return was fairly decent; Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and the Nets’ 2018 first-round pick. However, it did not come out until later that Thomas’ hip injury was worse than initially feared, which delayed his Cleveland debut until several months into the season. Also, Pelton used two recent cases of players coming back from a similar labrum tear only to see their production wane.

Thomas’ trade value went south through 15 games with the Cleveland, Crowder was a massive disappointment and the organization blew everything up in the hours up until the deadline. Meanwhile, Irving has been his usual stellar self for the Celtics, making the deal go from fair to lopsided in a hurry.

Check out other Central Division news below:

  • Veteran point guard Jameer Nelson is not expected to play much for the Pistons but he is ready to help the team any way he can, Ansar Khan of MLive.com writes. Nelson had an eventful deadline as he dealt twice; first, the Pelicans shipped him to the Bulls in the Nikola Mirotic trade and then Chicago traded Nelson to Pistons. The trade also reunites Nelson with his former Magic head coach, Stan Van Gundy, NBA.com’s Keith Langlois writes. “Still the same Stan,” Nelson said.
  • The Pacers stood pat at the deadline, with the team more focused on the future than short-term fixes, Clifton Brown of the Indianapolis Star writes. At 31-25, Indiana is currently in sixth place in the Eastern Conference and on track to make the playoffs. However, Brown notes that the Pacers do not feel like they were one trade away from being a championship contender and elected to not make a move.
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