You should never think the Celtics shouldn't have done the Kyrie Irving trade.
That's a double negative, but you'd have to be quadruple negative to think trading for Kyrie Irving was the wrong move for the Celtics.
Here's the argument you'll probably hear over the next few days (if you haven't already) against the trade: The Celtics gave up a lottery pick and other assets for a player who didn't make it through his first season with the team and, given the nature of knee injuries, might not ever be the same.
First off, the Brooklyn pick is projected to be No. 7. Relax.
Second, the health argument is partially disingenuous. Yes, the knee was bad. Bad enough to get surgery. But to say Irving would not make it through his first season with the team is to presume the Celtics would have opted to take the screws out of Irving's knee even if Gordon Hayward was healthy. What if Hayward hadn't gotten hurt and the Celtics were currently running away with the East? You don't think they would have just opted to manage it throughout the playoffs and then get the surgery after?
Now take a step back and look at the whole package: The Brooklyn pick, Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and a 2020 second-rounder for Irving.
We all know the story with Thomas. His stock couldn't be lower, as he failed his physical with the Cavs, took forever to return and quickly wore out his welcome when he did. Now he's recovering from a second hip surgery in less than a year and looking at a much smaller contract in free agency than the one for which he'd hoped when he was in Boston.
Crowder's contract is great, but it wasn't great enough to keep him in Cleveland through one season. He's in Utah now. Zizic? We'll see. He hasn't really done anything so far.
So the Brooklyn pick is intriguing, but know what's still more intriguing? A five-time All-Star who just turned 26. If you could go back right now and even just do the Brooklyn pick straight-up for Irving, you'd do it.
Even if you're one of those sillies who only measure a trade by which team won a championship next, are you really betting on Cleveland for that? The Cavs will for sure win the East because they have LeBron and the conference is now bereft of challengers, but they'll get smoked by whatever team represents the West.
So yes, you can be disappointed that Irving showed how great he could be but in an ultimately doomed season for the Celtics, you can't hate the trade. It was just too lopsided in favor of the Celtics. Really, as long as something crazy doesn't happen during his surgery Saturday, it still is.