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Report: Celtics to “draw line in sand” with Cavaliers, no Tatum, Brown, extra first round pick

After the first reports leaked following his physical that Isaiah Thomas was more injured than the Cavaliers had expected (or, they say, the Celtics had let on), it was obvious Cleveland was going to ask for more compensation in the Kyrie Irving trade. The question was what would Boston really give them? Not much if anything.

Still, Cleveland sees this as a negotiation. Meaning, as one should do in a negotiation, they started by asking for too much — the Cavs said they would ask about Jayson Tatum, Jalen Brown or another first-round pick.

Boston will quickly shoot that idea down, sources told Chris Mannix of CSNNE. You can see the video above, but Mannix said the Celtics “will draw a pretty definitive line in the sand” and say that Tatum, Brown, or a first-round pick are off the table. As they should be — Cleveland already was getting a lot in this deal, headlined by that unprotected Brooklyn pick in the next draft.

Boston can play hardball, throw nothing more in, and call Cleveland’s bluff. Everyone knows Cleveland badly wants that Brooklyn pick (they also got Jae Crowder and Ante Zizic in the deal in addition to Thomas). As Mannix notes, Boston can throw in a second round pick — maybe their own, which will be in the mid-50s the next few years, guys drafted that deep rarely make the NBA (four guys in the 50s from the last two drafts played NBA games, none more than 42 total) — and that allows Cleveland to save face. But that’s it.

If Cleveland thinks they are getting anything of real value added in, this deal will die.