Kyrie Irving No Longer a Cavalier, Traded to the Boston Celtics
Package to Cleveland includes Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder and Brooklyn's 2018 first-round draft pick.
The Cleveland Cavaliers no longer have the services of their elite point guard in their backcourt. The Cavaliers traded Kyrie Irving to the Boston Celtics for a package that includes PG Isaiah Thomas, G Jae Crowder, and the Brooklyn Nets’ 2018 first-round draft pick. The All-Star point guard and NBA champion will no longer be the Robin to the Batman of the Cavaliers, LeBron James. This is a mega trade that will reshape the NBA Eastern Conference for years to come. But what exactly led to the Irving wanting out of Believeland?
Celtics GM Danny Ainge hoodwinked another team 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 can add more young talent around Irving and the 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 number 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 of the Trade
This breakup came down to a couple of factors. First, Kyrie was tired of playing sidekick to LeBron James. 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. “Special talent/guy! Nothing but respect and what a ride it was our 3 years together Young Gode #Filayy”