NBA news: Cleveland Cavaliers trade Kyrie Irving to Boston

HOUSTON, TX - FEBRUARY 15: Isaiah Thomas
HOUSTON, TX - FEBRUARY 15: Isaiah Thomas /

The NBA offseason awoke on August 22 with a blockbuster trade that saw the Cleveland Cavaliers trade Kyrie Irving to the Boston Celtics.  This article details the swap.

The NBA news went into its quiet period for a few weeks, but it awoke with a bang on Tuesday.  It was mid-afternoon on the east coast when Shams Charania of The Vertical shocked us all with a report that the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Boston Celtics were in talks of a Kyrie Irving trade.  It was not long before the deal went final and the two teams that battled it out in the Eastern Conference finals agreed to swap All-Star point guards.  Let us take a closer look at the trade including my initial reaction and the effect it has on the Sacramento Kings organization.

The trade

The Boston Celtics receive Kyrie Irving in the trade and sent Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic, and Brooklyn’s 2018 unprotected first round selection to Cleveland.

Initial reaction

My first reaction when I heard the deal was a shock.  I did not think Cleveland would move Kyrie Irving given their championship aspirations in 2018.  I, also, did not expect Boston to enter this trade discussion.  They have been reluctant (and rightfully so) to attach Brooklyn’s picks in any trades, and I figured that would preclude them from making this Irving deal.

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After the shock wore off, I examined the deal a bit further and concluded both teams improved from this trade.

Boston finally has their franchise player in Kyrie Irving (a significant upgrade to Isaiah Thomas on the defensive end).  The Celtics lost some depth and a potential high lottery pick in the process, but you do not receive a 25-year-old franchise player with at least two years left on his contract for nothing.

Cleveland added an All-Star and offensive beast in Isaiah Thomas and Jae Crowder who improves their defense especially when they are forced to go small (I am looking at you Golden State).  They also received Ante Zizic, a 2016 first round pick who failed to impress me during summer league, and that coveted Brooklyn selection.  They added depth, and with Thomas replacing Irving they did not completely crush their 2018 title hopes.  The Cavaliers also added a future asset something they do not have in abundance.


I have seen a lot of people saying Cleveland won this trade in a landslide and we will never actually know until years down the road, but I believe Boston will win out in the long-term.  That Brooklyn pick probably turns into a worse player than Irving.  Thomas and Crowder both probably age less than gracefully, and if the Cavs extends Thomas (who is a free agent after the season) at the max, he could be a significant salary cap drain late in the deal.

Impact on the Sacramento Kings

This trade does not significantly affect the Sacramento Kings in the short term, but that could change quickly.  The Cavaliers wanted a first round pick just in case LeBron James bolts Cleveland after next season.  I think this trade only increases the chance he finds a new home in 2018 and I believe that home will be in the Western Conference.  That could mean the Sacramento Kings have to deal with the generational talent on a regular basis.  That is not a prospect I look forward to especially since the Kings are trending upward toward contention.  A fourth “Superteam” in the Western Conference headed by LeBron is the last thing Sacramento needs as it attempts to end its playoff drought.  Monitor the tea leaves this season on LeBron and his potential move out west.

The other impact is former Kings’ draft pick Isaiah Thomas heads to Cleveland.  His offensive talent next to James should create nightmares for opposing defenses.  Hopefully, Thomas builds on his All-Star campaign and makes a significant impact with the Cavs.

Final Thoughts

There you have it, a look at the Kyrie Irving trade including my reaction and the impact on the Kings.  The NBA always has a few tricks up its sleeve, so do not think the offseason storylines are over.  We could easily see another blockbuster deal, and there are still a few significant free agents still searching for contracts, so stay tuned.

Next: How the Sacramento Kings are building a potential Superteam

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