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Kyrie Irving Says Peace Out to Cavs, Traded to Celtics

Package to Cleveland includes Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder and Brooklyn's 2018 first-round draft pick.

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The Boston/Cleveland Rivalry Just Heated Up

Kyrie Irving is no longer a Cavalier. Irving has been traded to the Celtics for a package that includes PG Isaiah Thomas, G Jae Crowder, and the Brooklyn Nets’ 2018 first-round draft pick. This is a pair of blockbuster moves that will reshape the Eastern conference.

Celtics GM Danny Ainge hoodwinked the league again. Getting equal trade value for “Uncle Drew” was going to be hard. I believe the starters in this deal will play well for their new teams. With Ainge receiving the Nets’ 2018 unprotected draft pick, a good move became a great trade. This was the last remaining piece of Billie King’s atrocious deal with Boston for Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce. Now, the Celtics will add more young talent around Irving and new Celtic Gordon Hayward.

What Went Wrong in Believeland

The Cavs’ loss to the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals started a downward path. Rumors swirled that LeBron would not be re-signing with the Cavaliers when his contract expires in 2018. Owner Dan Gilbert then fired GM David Griffin. Plus, the rumors that LeBron and team executives were desperate to trade to Kevin Love persisted. On July 24, ESPN first reported that Kyrie Irving had requested a trade. A source close to the situation said,

Irving…wants to play in a situation where he can be more of a focal point and that he no longer wants to play alongside LeBron James, sources said.

Initially, we thought Kyrie was seeking leverage to restructure his contract. But we were wrong. On the“Road Trippin'” podcast, Cavs teammate Richard Jefferson said, “I think Kyrie is a hyper-intelligent kid,” “Really, really smart. Doesn’t get enough credit for how smart he is, and I think seeing that the franchise is in flux, I think seeing [David Griffin] leave and the amount of coaches … I think Kyrie has had a much tougher time in this stretch of the organization than anyone ever wants to ever really fully [recognize].” It was later reported Irving had not spoken to his teammates for weeks before the Finals.

The Aftermath

This breakup came down to a couple of factors. First, Kyrie was tired of playing Robin to LeBron’s Batman. He’s won a championship and now wants to create his own legacy. Second, franchise instability and a star player who’s unwilling to commit to a team, pushed Irving out the door. But I have to give King James credit, his reaction to Irving leaving was classy. It was on Twitter though.

Lebron retweeted the video and said…

“That’s the only way to be to the kid!,” James wrote along with the retweet. “Speical talent/guy! Nothing but respect and what a ride it was our 3 years together Young Gode #Filayy”

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