It took the addition of a 2020 second-round pick to seal the deal, but the Celtics and Cavaliers finally made the Kyrie Irving deal official on Thursday.
After Cleveland’s doctors had a look at Isaiah Thomas' hip, they reportedly believed the two-time All-Star’s injury might sideline him for an extended period of time.
According to Kevin O'Connor of the Ringer, LeBron James and head coach Tyronn Lue "cooled" on the idea of the trade after they learned that Thomas could miss a significant amount of time next season.
One league source with an understanding of Cleveland’s situation told me that as news spread throughout the organization that Thomas could miss time deep into the upcoming season, James and Lue cooled on the deal. According to the same source, both the Cavs’ franchise player and their head coach were apparently told by upper management that Thomas and Crowder were being brought in to help the team compete with the Warriors now.
Earlier this week Thomas maintained that he's not "damaged" and will be the same player when he returns to action.
The Celtics have waived swingman Abdel Nader, Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports reports. It opens up a roster spot perhaps for Jabari Bird or another player who impressed in Summer League play.
Nader, 24, a native of Egypt, was a second-round pick in 2016 (58th overall). The 6-6 guard/small forward averaged 3.0 points and 1.5 rebounds and shot 33.6 percent (35.4 from 3) in 48 games last season, his first in the NBA. He's still owed $450,000 but the rest of his contract was non-guaranteed.
Gordon Hayward told our Celtics Insider A. Sherrod Blakely earlier this week that "I'm just about full speed" (see video above) as he recovers from the devastating injury that derailed his season five minutes into his Celtics debut.
As if to prove it, Hayward posted an Instagram video that shows his surgically repaired ankle appearing to hold up pretty well as he hits a series of step-back and turnaround jumpers working with skills coach Drew Hanlen and finishes with him sinking 18 consecutive 3-pointers and counting.
It's on to five-on-five work next month.
Click here for more on Blakely's exclusive one-on-one interview with Hayward.