The Boston Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers were involved in a blockbuster deal tonight. The Celtics acquired Kyrie Irving, while sending away Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and the 2018 Nets first-round draft pick.
This is amazing. Kyrie Irving in green? Nobody thought this deal was going to happen, well aside from Celtics and Cavaliers executives. As a Celtics fan, I’m sad to see IT4 leave this way, but let’s get real here, this deal just made the Celtics a hell of a lot better. And with the off-season the Celtics have had, signing Gordon Hayward and drafting Jayson Tatum, what better way to keep the off-season festivities rolling than trading for a top-3 PG in the NBA and a true game-changing superstar.
There are a few reasons why I like this deal so much. First of all, Tatum and Jaylen Brown were not involved. Adrian Wojnarowski reported earlier than the Cavs wanted Tatum. If he was involved, this trade would’ve made me feel a little uneasy. Secondly, the Celtics will still have an all-star point guard after this season. IT evolved the Celtics franchise after the downtown in Boston once Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett were traded and Ray Allen going to Miami. And after the amazing season The Little Guy had last year, when he becomes a free agent after this season, he’s going to want a max contract. I’m just not into giving someone a max contract when they’re a defensive liability and standing 5-foot-9. I love IT and he is all heart and effort in all facets of the game, so he will definitely be missed. But Kyrie is under contract for 3 more years and Woj reported there’s a solid chance he stays with Boston when that time comes.
Third reason I love this deal is because all of the trouble in paradise going in The Land. OK, I got ahead of myself, that place is no paradise, but the Cavaliers team was a destination spot to land in hopes of coasting to the Finals. Not anymore. The Celtics are the future in the East. And the last reason is moving on from Crowder. I’m not a Crowder guy. It all started when he bitched about Celtics fans chanting for Gordon Hayward when Utah came to The Garden. And since then I’ve developed more reasons why I wanted to Celtics to deal Crowder. In game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals, the Cavs were up in the series 2-1 and with the Celtics down by 3 with about 50 seconds left in the game, Crowder launched a bad-look 3-pointer, then proceeded to get his own rebound and with a full shot clock, jacked up another 3 while in a heavy double-team. If he got the ball to someone who could actually shoot instead of forcing himself into an attempted hero role, that series could’ve gone differently for the Celtics. Also with Crowder being dealt, it opens up more playing time for Tatum and Brown, who are the future of the Celtics so I love that.
Is this move a clue into the future of Cleveland? I mean, I know Kyrie came out and said he wanted to be traded, but I’m talking beyond that. There has been a lot of talk and speculation of LeBron leaving after the upcoming season to go play for the Lakers. I’m just speculating here because I don’t understand why the Cavs would want to trade their all-star point guard to the team that finished the regular season with the best record in the East, and got better in the off-season before this deal went down. That part doesn’t make sense, but it is a Cleveland type move. How sweet will it be to see Kyrie go off in the ECF, leading the Celtics to a series win against the Cavs? Pretty damn sweet.
Kyrie Irving now joins a stacked Celtics roster. There are some different opinions on who should be the starting-5 for the C’s this year, but now with IT and Crowder leaving, this is how I want it to look: Kyrie, Hayward, Tatum, Morris, Horford. And then have Marcus Smart, Brown, Terry Rozier and Aron Baynes all playing major roles off the bench. But this squad is built to have players playing multiple positions with their size, athleticism and ability to guard different positions. This team is deep and Brad Stevens will do a great job mixing and matching different lineups on the floor.
I’m too hyped for this season now. The goal in Boston for any sports team every year, is a championship. That’s the mindset in Title Town, as it should be. Well, the Celtics now are looking primed to make it to the Finals. Their only roadblock will be the team they just dealt with, the Cavs. But maybe LeBron won’t activate Zero Dark Thirty-23 for the postseason this year, as he’s thinking about joining the Lake Show. IT will be a liability on the defensive end, but this time it’ll be in a different uniform. We all know he cannot guard Kyrie. And he won’t fair too well against the size and skill of Hayward, Tatum or Brown. So you can say whatever you want about LeBron running the East and nobody getting through him, but the possibility for the Celtics doing that might’ve just come to reality.
I say with complete seriousness that this move gives the C’s a chance against the reigning NBA Champion, Golden State Warriors. The Celtics have improved each year since starting their rebuild, and there’s no better way to keep that going than this blockbuster deal that happened tonight. The off-season has been a sweet one for the Celtics, and on paper they are now the second-best team in the NBA. And if/when they do meet up with the Warriors in the Finals, they’ll put up a huge fight. And since it’s the Finals, anything can happen and we could see the NBA Championship trophy back in Boston.
It’s all about Banner 18.
Follow Drew Tanguay on Twitter: @DTang10