A span of two hours was all it took for the biggest blockbuster trade of the summer to go down.
Shams Charmania of The Vertical first reported that the Cleveland Cavaliers were engaged in talks with the Boston Celtics regarding a trade involving Kyrie Irving and Isaiah Thomas.
Less than two hours later, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported the deal as official. The top two teams in the Eastern Conference last season completed a blockbuster trade.
CAVALIERS RECEIVE: Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic, Brooklyn Nets 2018 1st round pick (Unprotected)
CELTICS RECEIVE: Kyrie Irving
Considering the Cavaliers had close to zero leverage in this situation, they did REALLY well. They were able to get a top scoring point guard on a contract year, an elite wing defender, and a young prospect. Being able to get the Brooklyn pick away from Boston is absolute gravy. Cleveland keeps their status as the favorite in the conference, while also being better prepared for a possible post-LeBron era next season. The only question they have to answer now is how much they’ll be willing to pay Isaiah Thomas if LeBron decides to stay. GRADE: A
The Celtics did well to get Kyrie Irving, but this trade also left me very confused. I have no idea why Danny Ainge felt the need to include the Nets pick, when he wasn’t willing to do it for DeMarcus Cousins, Paul George, or Jimmy Butler. And none of those possible deals would’ve included Thomas. Other than that this is a very good traded for Boston as well. They don’t have to worry about giving Isaiah Thomas the max next summer, they get a proven go to scorer in the playoffs, and moving Crowder allows more playing time for Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum. Just a slight downgrade for including the Nets pick. GRADE: A-
One of the rare blockbuster trades where you can legitimately say either team won the deal. We’re all in for a treat now to see the Celtics and Cavaliers face off on opening night in Cleveland.