Cavs Send Kyrie Irving to the Rising Boston Celtics
By Brandon Simmons
The NBA offseason is the gift that keeps on giving and its latest offering may have shaped the future of the Eastern Conference. The Cleveland Cavaliers have traded guard Kyrie Irving to the Boston Celtics in exchange for guard Isiah Thomas, forward Jae Crowder, center Ante Zizic and a 2018 first round pick. After months of speculation of where Kyrie would land this season, it has finally been solved thanks to Celtics president Danny Ainge. Ainge said that he was faced a rough business decision that had a sprinkle of emotion attached.
“This has obviously been a roller coaster of a day for us, trading away Isaiah and Jae and Ante, especially Isaiah and Jae who have been such big part of our team and our success and our Celtic culture as leaders of our team. Very, very difficult day,” he expressed. Ainge also realizes that going after Irving would be a huge financial risk but feels there is a guarantee it will be worth it.
“It is a high price tag. But acquiring a 25-year-old perennial All-Star, a player that fits a timeline for us, and is a fantastic offensive player, one of the best offensive players in the league, you have to pay a heavy price.”
Earlier this summer, rumors broke out of Irving wanting to be traded from the Cavaliers after alleged in-house fighting with forward Lebron James. There quite a few teams to jump at the chance including the San Antonio Spurs and Minnesota Timberwolves. As the trade hype died down, more stories of began to surface about Irving feuding with teammates, particularly during this past season’s NBA Finals, in which the Cavs lost the series 4-1 to the Golden State Warriors. According to ESPN, this prompted the Celtics to look into the matter for themselves as well as “research” Kyrie. That “research” seems to have paid off.
Irving is leaving a Cavaliers team that looks pretty shaky at the moment compared to the previous few seasons. The team switched general managers, reportedly in the midst of trying to land Paul George. Then it was reported James, the franchise’s savior, could be making another exit from Cleveland after this season.
The Celtics may very well have a strong team that could take out the Cavaliers, if not challenge them for the Eastern Conference crown. Kyrie Irving is an amazing talent, and when you pair that with Lebron James, you are going to get a dominant duo. Now things have changed with both players playing on different squads and finding themselves as the sole leaders of their team. This summer, Cleveland went out and got guard Derrick Rose, which would have been a spectacular signing before you think about the knee injuries he has been dealing with for the past 5 to 6 years. On the Celtics’ side, they ended up signing Gordon Hayward, which automatically gives Kyrie a 2nd option, in addition to some help off the bench with Marcus Smart. Irving does have 3 years left on his current contract, but a lot can happen within that time, which would make him want to stay and build on something for 3-5 years; or hold season-long tryouts for teams willing to shell out some big paper for him and have a slightly better team prepared for him. Just as quick as Irving’s crossover the Celtics have become a dangerous, if not solidified, contender to win the East.
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