Four reasons why Celtics shouldn't trade for Kyrie Irving
BOSTON – Is it just me, or does it feel like the start of the NBA season -- as much as I love it -- will be a letdown compared to the offseason?
The news cycle has been seemingly non-stop all summer, beginning with the Celtics trading away the No. 1 overall pick to go down two spots while picking up another future first-round pick.
Just when it seemed things were about to truly slow down, Cleveland’s Kyrie Irving drops maybe the biggest bomb of the summer in asking for a trade.
Only 25 years old, you can bet every team in the NBA -- that includes the Celtics -- will reach out to the Cavs, just to keep themselves in the loop.
It’s one thing to be in touch. But actually put together a package for Irving? That’s an entirely different matter.
While there are many who see Irving as an upgrade over just about every player on the Celtics roster, Boston needs to tread carefully when it comes to a possible deal involving the four-time All-Star.
Here are four reasons why, as talented as Irving is, the Celtics should take a pass on making a legitimate run at him.
HIGH PRICE TAG
The Celtics are like an NBA warehouse, full of assets in all shapes, sizes and values. The whole point of making a trade is to add value to your team, which in the case of the Celtics means making them closer to becoming a title contender. Trading for Irving will surely cost Isaiah Thomas as well as at least one more starter/key rotation player (Jae Crowder?). Considering both Thomas (28) and Crowder (27) are older than Irving (25), chances are high that the Cavs will also want Jaylen Brown or Jayson Tatum, too. That’s a lot of talent leaving the nest for a player who, while extremely talented, doesn’t provide enough to make the Celtics a better team. If that doesn’t happen, what’s the point of making the deal?
The Celtics’ perimeter defense will likely take a dip after Avery Bradley's trade to Detroit. But adding Irving to the mix will only make matters worse at that end of the floor. And while Thomas has certainly taken his share of criticism as a defender, Irving is by no means an upgrade. In fact, Irving’s defensive rating last season (109.1) was actually worse than Thomas’ (108.6).
HELPS CLEVELAND STAY RELEVANT
Losing to Golden State in the Finals. David Griffin not being re-signed as the team’s GM after putting together teams that advanced to the NBA Finals three years in a row. Rumors gaining steam that this will be LeBron James’ final season in Cleveland before taking his talents out West to play for the Los Angeles Lakers. And now, Irving wants to be traded.
It’s no secret that the Cavs are trending downward. That's great for the Celtics, who look as though they are the next best thing in the East. But trading for Irving, though it certainly has its benefits,would likely provide Cleveland with enough talent to stay high atop the Eastern Conference standings and keep that championship window propped open for one more season.
DESIRE TO WIN QUESTIONABLE
Irving plays with LeBron James. He has been to the NBA Finals in each of the last three seasons, coming away with a title in 2016 that included him making arguably the biggest shot in Cavaliers history.
The fact that Irving is serious about walking away from a situation that has done nothing but produce trips to the NBA Finals the last three years, is indeed a head-scratcher to many. And while I certainly respect his desire to branch out and run his own team (which is not going to happen with LeBron in Cleveland), if Irving was truly about winning at all costs then all this talk about wanting to be traded would have never become a talking point. Because whatever team trades for him will not be nearly as good as the one he’s leaving behind.