An already crazy NBA offseason just took a wild turn, as multiple reports have the Cavaliers and Celtics engaged in trade talks involving star point guards Kyrie Irving and Isaiah Thomas.
Shams Charania of Yahoo! Sports first reported the news:
Cleveland and Boston engaged in active trade discussions centered on Kyrie Irving and Isaiah Thomas, league sources tell The Vertical.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) August 22, 2017
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN then added more details:
Sources: Boston, Cleveland nearing deal on Kyrie Irving, but details still working to completion. Isaiah Thomas, Crowder, pick(s) in talks.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) August 22, 2017
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It all makes sense that the Celtics would be a good fit to trade for Irving, at least in theory. The Celtics have a lot to offer, including Thomas who could play a similar role as Irving in Cleveland. The fact the two top teams in the East that met in the conference finals last spring would engage in such a blockbuster deal, however, is a bit surprising.
As Wojnarowski says, Jae Crowder is expected to be a part of the deal if it goes down. If Cleveland were to bring in both Thomas and Crowder, they could conceivably be even better this upcoming season than they were before. That would be great for their title hopes.
As for what this deal means beyond 2017-18, it would all depend on if they can re-sign Thomas, who has just one year left on his deal, and what type of draft picks they receive. Crowder is a fine player, but he's not going to help much if LeBron James leaves one summer from now.
Also worth noting is the fact Thomas is still technically recovering from a labrum tear in his right hip. He was shut down during the conference finals and is due for more testing in early September.
This is all fascinating to watch from a Wizards' perspective, of course. Their rival Celtics have already gutted half their roster from last year and may have more moves to make. Meanwhile, the Cavaliers are the top team in the East that everyone is trying to knock off. This deal could make them even better, or the disruption in chemistry could open the door for others to break through and win the conference.
As for the Wizards-Celtics rivalry, it could get even better with this deal. John Wall is good friends with Thomas. He's friendly with Irving, too, but they are a great matchup as star guards and former No. 1 overall picks. People have debated who's better for years and that would be intensified if they were on rival teams.
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