Celtics

Bean: Kyrie Irving trade holdup makes the Cavaliers look even worse

kyrie-isaiah-82217.jpg

Bean: Kyrie Irving trade holdup makes the Cavaliers look even worse

Anybody who was crapping on Kyrie Irving for wanting out of Cleveland can give up now. They no longer have an argument. 

LeBron stuff aside, the holdup in the Cavs and Celtics trade shows what kind of a mess of an operation they’ve got going on in Cleveland. After the Cavaliers traded Irving for a package that included Isaiah Thomas’ well-documented hip issue, there’s a possibility -- however small, but certainly real -- that the Cavs will call off the trade if Boston doesn’t throw in more

MORE ON THE TRADE:

This comes, you know, after both teams agreed to the trade and announced it. As these things always are, the deal was pending physicals, but part of trading for Thomas is knowing that his 2016-17 season was ended three games early by a hip issue from which he hasn’t fully recovered. 

This isn’t to say the Cavs should have taken him no matter what, but his health had to have been discussed in trade negotiations. And really, what’s more likely? 

A. That Danny Ainge, a day after his coach said the team hadn’t yet cleared the player and an hour before he said Thomas’ hip played in his motivation to trade the player, told the Cavs that Thomas was fine. 

B. That the Cavaliers traded for a package that included an injured player and then acted surprised when that injured player was, in fact, injured. 

Given what a mess the organization has been this summer, from the general manager getting dumped to Chauncey Billups staying far away to the whispers-turned-screams that LeBron will bounce next summer, I’m going with B. 

The thing that stinks for the Celtics is that they probably have to acquiesce to Cleveland’s demands, as this trade falling through would be far more difficult for Boston than for the Cavs. If the teams back out of the deal, all Cleveland has is a star player in Irving who wants out, which is exactly what they had before. 

But the Celtics? They’ll have told their best player ahead of his walk year that they preferred someone else at his position while also attempting to trade another long-time member of the team right after their mother’s death. It’s in Ainge’s best interests to get this thing done. 

Of course, that might prove to be harder than expected because of his trade partner. Whatever the additional asset is, it should be minimal — a lottery-protected pick or something like that. Jayson Tatum or Jaylen Brown? Get the hell out of here. 

The Celtics gave up a lot to get a hell of a player. They thought they had him. They probably also thought they were dealing with a competent organization on the other side. They would be wrong. 

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE

Now, it gets real for revamped Celtics

Now, it gets real for revamped Celtics

CLEVELAND – For the Celtics, the preseason went about as well as expected.
 
No serious, long-term injuries.

MORE:

They won every preseason game, even one in which the team’s second unit played the role of starters.
 
And the chemistry concerns with so many new players, while very real, didn’t seem to be that big an issue.
 
Still, as good as the Celtics may feel about where they stand, they know it means absolutely nothing unless they get it done against elite, NBA-caliber competition.
 
The Cleveland Cavaliers.
 
Opening night.
 
It doesn’t get much more challenging than that.
 
And for the Celtics, win or lose, this is going to be a game for them to build upon going forward this season.
 
“I’m just ready to get going,” said Gordon Hayward. “A lot of things have happened this summer, a lot of buildup. I’m ready to get to the game. It’s going to be a fun matchup, for sure.”
 
Among the summer happenings was Boston and Cleveland pulling off one of the biggest blockbuster deals of the offseason with the Cavs trading Kyrie Irving to the Celtics for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic while also conveying Brooklyn’s 2018 first-round pick and Miami’s 2020 second-round pick to complete the deal.
 
Having spent his first six seasons with the Cavaliers, there’s a certain amount of corporate knowledge that the 25-year-old Irving brings to tonight’s matchup.
 
“I know a lot about them, they know a lot about me,” Irving said. “There’s plenty of film on all of us, but specifically going back and understanding the way we played last year when I played with them and now how they’re playing with the new guys, understanding how to implement themselves into their new system plus me implementing myself into this system...There’s definitely some benefits on our end, there are some benefits on their end. I’m looking forward to the challenge.”
 
Part of the challenge for the Celtics will be developing the kind of on-court cohesion to be successful, which is easier said than done when you’re talking about getting nearly a dozen players on the same page in just a few weeks.
 
“We have good chemistry as a group,” said Al Horford. “We still have a ways to go as far as keep getting comfortable with each other and keep figuring out our spots. But we feel good with what we have. Our young guys, it’s been remarkable how quickly they’ve been able to come along and be up to date with everything. And our new guys as well. They’re up to date, they know what we need to do. They understand the game plan. It’s been good.”
 
Players aren’t the only ones eager to get to tonight’s game.
 
“To have to go into Cleveland with that level of intensity, with that level of attention, distraction, etc. is great,” said Celtics coach Brad Stevens. “It’s great to experience that in game one, a tremendous learning experience for our group, so we’re preparing to play as well as we can. And we know that they’re really, really good. But this is..I’m looking forward to it because I want to find out where we are.”
 

'People took it the wrong way,' Isaiah says of his Ainge comments

cleveland-cavaliers-isaiah-thomas-101117.jpg

'People took it the wrong way,' Isaiah says of his Ainge comments

Isaiah Thomas told Sports Illustrated last week that he "might never talk to Danny [Ainge] again." And he sounded pretty bitter about his trade from the Celtics to the Cavs.

Now, on the "Road Trippin" podcast with new teammate Channing Frye and ex-Cav Richard Jefferson, Thomas, who is out until at least January with a hip injury, said those comments were misunderstood.

MORE:

“People took it the wrong way,” Thomas said. “I understand the business, I understand that we’re in position to get traded and sent to other teams and things like that. It’s just how it went down that I didn’t respect. As a man, I feel like if you respected me as much as you say you did, you would have at least informed me about what was going on before it happened. And that’s all I was talking about.

“I’m not tripping off the trade like I got traded to the Cavs and we’re going to win a championship. And at the end of the day, I’m going to be fine with that,” Thomas said. “[Ainge] sent me to an even better situation with a bigger platform. I’m blessed to be in the position, I’m grateful and I’m excited.”

Ainge responded to Isaiah's comments on WEEI.

"He had an amazing platform and he went from a guy that bounced around a little bit from Sacramento to Phoenix and came to Boston, found a home, and played unbelievable basketball last year," said Ainge. "Going forward all point guards that play great in a Celtic uniform will be compared to Isaiah Thomas and how they compare to him.

“But I don’t know what we owe him. We gave him an opportunity, we gave him everything he had while he was here, and he gave us everything he had.”

The Cavs host the Celtics tonight in the season opener. 

Jae Crowder, who came to Cleveland from Boston, was also on the podcast and when Frye talked with him about players deserving communication from the front office, Thomas could be heard in the background, saying, “That’s what I’m talking about.”

“I already said what I’m doing," Thomas told Crowder about what he'll do should he run into Ainge. "I’m going to keep it pushing like he kept pushing when he traded me, I’m not going to disrespect him. He’s a man and I’m a man, too. Like, I’m going to go my way. I play for the Cavaliers and that’s what it is.”

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE