Dan Gilbert: “We Killed It” In The Kyrie Irving Trade

Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert continues to insist that his team got the better of the deal that sent Kyrie Irving to Boston before the start of the 2017/18 season, relays Terry Pluto of Cleveland.com.

Irving still had two years left on his contract when he asked for a trade to get him away from the team’s uncertain future in the wake of LeBron James‘ upcoming free agency. The Cavaliers agreed to his demand, getting Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and a draft pick that became Collin Sexton.

“It becomes a melting snowball,” Gilbert said. “We had to trade him when we did. What team would want Kyrie with only one year on his contract knowing he could leave after the season? You won’t get much back (under those circumstances).”

In addition, Irving’s agent implied that if the trade demand wasn’t met, his client might undergo knee surgery that would keep him out for most of the year. Irving wound up having two operations on his knee last season and missed the playoffs.

Gilbert expects Irving to move on again when he becomes a free agent this summer.

“I don’t know, but I think Kyrie will leave Boston,” he said. “We could have ended up with nothing. Looking back after all the moves (GM) Koby (Altman) made, we killed it in that trade.”

Gilbert shares his views on a few other topics in the same story:
  • James comes with “a limited shelf life” because of his age and contract situation, Gilbert said. LeBron reached the NBA Finals in all four years of his most recent stay in Cleveland, but was never willing to sign a long-term commitment, giving himself flexibility to leave if he didn’t like how the team was being run. “It’s a win now at all costs,” Gilbert said. “… It all revolves around the sun, which is him. Whatever pressure comes with it, it worked out. We won a title.”
  • Gilbert denies that he was responsible for the decision to hire Michigan’s John Beilein as the team’s new coach. He said Altman came up with the idea and led a group of eight front office representatives who met with Beilein. “All eight loved him,” Gilbert said. “All eight wanted to hire him. They were polled individually. That caught my attention. This was a week before I met with John.” He also called the financial aspects of Beilein’s new five-year contract “very reasonable.”
  • Unlike when LeBron left in 2010, Gilbert knows there’s no chance he will return someday to resurrect the franchise. So the focus now is creating a successful organization from scratch. “We have to build a culture and a team, beyond just adding a lot more talent,” Gilbert said. “I really believe in this front office and the coaching staff. We are putting together a team based on culture and character.”
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35 thoughts on “Dan Gilbert: “We Killed It” In The Kyrie Irving Trade

  1. acarneglia

    The trade essentially ended up being Kyrie for Zizic, Nance Jr., Rodney Hood, George Hill, and Sexton

    • Rewane

      Cavs also traded away the pick that became Wagner and also got back Clarkson.

    • mcmillankmm

      And then they sent Hill along for some bad contracts and a 1st…they did well overall. I think they’ll be near the bottom of the standings again in 19-20, but at least it’s the last year for a number of the bad contracts they have.

  2. Rewane

    That trade is lose-lose. Bought high on the Nets pick and Crowder, and later sold Crowder low and gave IT away.

  3. Thronson5

    I feel like this guy just says some crazy stuff sometimes…but…he is right..in the long run they got Sexton who will be there a while and Kyrie wasn’t going to make that team a playoff team is he even played and now I’m pretty sure he’s gone from Boston whole the Cavs still have Sexton for however long and they can build around him. I think of Love is healthy they should trade him for whatever they can get also

    • imindless

      Why not trade him to the lakers lol for kuzma, we all know bron and kyrie would love to get the trio back. All while having lonzo and ingram lol

  4. Danthemilwfan

    You also blew your shot at beating golden state in the finals last year. It wasn’t terrible but it wasn’t “killing it”. Either lol

  5. x%sure

    I think by “killing it” Gilbert meant more than a comparison of players. They were put at a disadvantage and came out okay, perhaps better than the Celts will if KI leaves. Of course KI is fun to watch but a departure after two years with little left behind feels like a waste.

    But for the record… Irving for Crowder, Thomas, Zizic & Sexton… Thomas (with Frye & a low 1st (Moritz Wagner)) got Nance & Clarkson… Crowder (with Rose & Shumpert) got Hood & Hill… Hood got 2 2nds & Stauskas… Hill (and salary back, Delly & Henson) got a low 2021 1st & 2nd.

    So Irving got Zizic, Sexton, and about 1/3 of Nance, Clarkson, Stauskas, 3 seconds, & a first. I can’t say the players acquired got them any farther in 2018. The Sexton pick may have. A mistake to keep it?*(I think so)… Not asking Boston for Rozier was certainly a mistake, as Hill was a mild performer. They probably will let Clarkson & Stauskas go. And so by 2021 Gilbert will have from Irving: Zizic, Sexton, Nance-equivalent, and a low first rookie. Probably solid starters, but not title-pushing.

    • OhThatYoGirl

      I think the Cavs trade Clarkson for some more picks as well. He’s a very solid player off the bench that can make a difference for a playoff team.

  6. Reflect

    “Killed it” seems like a pretty major exaggeration, but I have to agree they did do well given the circumstances.

  7. jjd002

    Sounds like when Thunder fans kept saying that they won the Harden trade.

  8. digitalian

    The Cadavers will be in the lottery every year for the next decade. That is killing it.

    • knickscavsfan

      Says a guy who’s name is OmahaOmaha

      Most people who speak on Cleveland negatively haven’t been there. It’s no Miami at all but it’s a once tremendous city (before 1960) but has it’s own beauty nonetheless.

      • bravesfan88

        There’s some pretty good places to eat at, but yeah, it’s pretty lame in general…

        After living there for 3 years, I have to agree with old Joakim..lol

  9. It was a bad trade from the Cavs’ perspective. Looking at only the surviving assets after 2 years isn’t a great way to determine the winner of a deal. Even so, they have just Sexton, Zizic and 2 Portland remote 2nd rounders. A remote draft pick as the centerpiece of a deal for young AS is bad, and where it falls doesn’t change that. They assumed higher, but it could easily have been lower.

    IT4 was just one of two expiring contracts in the Nance deal (the consideration was their 1st and taking on Clarkson’s contract). He was no more the reason for that deal than Frye was (or any other expiring deal could have been).

    Crowder and the Mia 2nd rd pick (plus Shumpert and another 2nd) got them Hood and Hill. But Hood was going through a career crisis that year, and now just equals a couple of likely low 2nds. Hill did NOT get them a 1st, he was just the (near expiring) contract used. The Cavs’ willingness to take on bad money got them the 1st. Any team taking on Henson and MD for an expiring deal(s) could have netted those picks.

    • knickscavsfan

      Would you not agree that the this trade can only be compared from the perspective of what was on the table, what was accepted and the results? Clearly, everyone in the NBA knew the Cavs were in a bad situation. Getting what many thought would be a #1 pick, or at least top 3. The Cavs put themselves in the best situation. A probability that Brooklyn would be a lot worse than they were and thus have a chance to draft either the best “big” in Ayton or the best PG in Doncic.

      The trade was a sound move. Had Brooklyn been a worse team then we would think differently.

      • Yes, of course. But we’ll never know what was actually offered. Bucks reportedly offered a lot. Ideally, IMO, the Nets 1st, as a still remote pick, was too uncertain to be the best asset in a deal for KI. It could have been a top 3 or so pick as you say, but you could also argue that the Cavs were lucky that the Nets turnaround happened this past year, and not the prior one.

        • x%sure

          Spurs offered something too… probably included Green and White or Murray. Do you know what the Bucks offered? They were trying things with Middleton I think back a ways. I am pretty sure there were other options.

          No Hill, no Bucks 1st & 2nd. Shumpert was gone, Smith was saved and the Bucks actually wanted Hill and are getting good use.

          • From memory, I believe the Bucks offer was (reported to be) Middleton, Brogden and a 1st.

            • x%sure

              Good memory.
              link to theringer.com
              Wow. Something else to SMH. A Brogdon-Middleton backcourt might be a bit slow but Lebron could have made that work vs GSW.

              The MIL r1 was only if KI extended, but something could have been worked out if Gilbert wasn’t so enamored with Boston’s high pick. MIL’s r1 would likely have been Aaron Holiday if for CLE.
              AH-Brogdn-Midltn-Nance-Love, nice.

            • x%sure

              I see the HR article, and the offer was doubted as 1st+CM+MB, and considered less than Boston’s anyway, which sounds weird now!

              I posted “Gilbert wants a star element, not just several good young players.” I would prefer the latter but forgot about it all.
              link to hoopsrumors.com

  10. InvalidUserID

    “Given the circumstances at the time, I feel we got the best return we could” would be a more appropriate statement.

  11. Guest617

    kyrie destroyed boston’s team chemistry, fans want to burn his jersey – he set them back from their previous uptrend

  12. hoosierhysteria

    Dear Dilbert: only losers talk about culture. You had a great GM and thought you didn’t need one. Players aren’t coming to the mistake by the lake….you have to draft and trade. You got a great coach….let him do his job…or fire him when he gets to first place….like you have in the past. And no more comments about Pacers roster/trades.

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