By COLLIN JOHNSON
The Cleveland Cavaliers finalized a massive trade sending Kyrie Irving to the Boston Celtics after what seemed like a never-ending trade deal, in exchange they are receiving Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic, a 2018 first round pick and a 2020 second round pick. Irving demanded the trade due to not being happy with his secondary role next to LeBron James. Although, Irving and James do have a good relationship, Irving is 25 years-old and already has one championship under his belt.
Irving now has to prove himself and lead a team in his new position to really show his true potential. Let’s hope that he can take the Celtics to another championship. James was hoping to keep some familiar faces on the team and get a few new top notch players to help him chase the Michael Jordan legacy that every player aspires for.
James and Irving have not spoken since the trade was confirmed, however it’s safe to say they are waiting for the dust to settle from the aftermath of the trade. It is fair to say that Cleveland got the better end of the deal, as Zizic could be the hidden gem in this deal, having led the Croatian team to a silver medal at the world championships last year.
After extensive negotiations with various concerns, Thomas was found to have a hip injury which delayed the deal. The Celtics general manager, Danny Ainge, admitted that Thomas’s hip injury was a major factor in his decision to trade the guard. The hip injury was apparently more severe than the Cavaliers anticipated, which led them to discuss options to sweeten the deal. The Celtics added to the trade by agreeing to send Cleveland a 2020 second-round pick to complete the trade. After being given the option to take or veto the trade, Cleveland decided to accept the offer.
Although Thomas is the biggest asset in this trade, he is also a big risk with a history of recurring hip problems. However, in an interview with ESPN report Adrian Wojnarowski, Thomas was quoted saying that his injury is manageable and that he is not permanently injured. He will also be returning this season as “the same player again.” This year’s performance will be crucial to Thomas’s career, as a good season could prove that he is still the same star point guard we saw last season and that he has many more seasons ahead of him. A bad season however, could show that his years as a productive player are numbered.