The Cavs and Celtics have pulled off one of the biggest trades the NBA has seen in years, a blockbuster deal that will send Kyrie Irving to Boston for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and the Brooklyn Nets' 2018 unprotected first round pick. The final deal was reported by Brian Windhorst of ESPN.
Whew, where do we start? First of all, this is the top two teams in the East, teams that met in the conference finals this spring, trading All-Star point guards for each other. It's not often you see that.
For the Celtics, they will have Irving for at least the next two seasons under his current contract. Considering Thomas' deal runs up after this year, that's good news for them.
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That said, this is an unbelievable haul for the Cavs. Not only do they remain very good in the short-term with Thomas stepping in to fill the same role Irving did, but they get deeper with Crowder and set themselves up extremely well long-term with the Nets' pick. The Nets were the worst team in basketball this past season, the odds of them still being very bad this season seem good. The Cavs are in good position now even if LeBron James leaves next summer, knowing they have an extra first round pick that could be a top selection.
The first game of the NBA season, by the way, is Celtics at Cavs on Oct. 17. That should be a good one.
For the rest of the Eastern Conference, teams like the Wizards, it's hard to draw major conclusions from this deal. The Cavs were the best team in the East and have a good chance of remaining the top dogs. The Celtics gave up a lot, but they also added other pieces this offseason with Gordon Hayward and Jayson Tatum. Only time will tell if either got signifincantly better or worse.
Cleveland, however, does look much better off in the long run. That could affect how some view James' future, as many have speculated about whether this will be his final season with the Cavs. Now they appear to have a very sound long-term plan.
This trade will send shockwaves throughout the NBA, but may not affect the standings in the Eastern Conference very much. Still, it's a big one.
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