UA-59049186-1 Breaking Down The Kyrie Irving Trade - Good if it Goes

Breaking Down The Kyrie Irving Trade

On Tuesday evening the Celtics and Cavaliers agreed to a deal to swap all-star point guards Kyrie Irving and Isaiah Thomas. The details of the trade are as followed:

Celtics receive: Kyrie Irving

Cavaliers receive: Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic, 2018 first round pick (Nets)


Immediately after news of this trade broke everyone started to debate who won the trade. The answer to that question is simple, both teams won. This was a great deal for both teams. Whenever a team makes a trade it is rarely as simple as looking at which team got what players. Other circumstances have to be taken into consideration and for the purposes of this trade we have to factor in that everyone in the NBA knew the Cavs needed to trade Kyrie and that he and Lebron James relationship had faltered. Given the Cavs were negotiating from a position of weakness it was quite remarkable they were able to get back a great haul. The Cavs got back more value for Kyrie Irving than the Pacers were able to get for Paul George, the Bulls were able to get for Jimmy Butler, and than the Kings were able to get for Demarcus Cousins all of whom are better players than Kyrie. When you really break down this deal for the Cavs they got back a shorter slightly lesser version of Irving in Thomas. They get Jae Crowder who is the first true two way player the Cavs have acquired to play with Lebron since he returned to Cleveland. They also got ammunition for the future as well picking up Ante Zizic, who was a late first round pick in 2016, and they got the 2018 Nets pick unprotected which could end up being the top pick in next year’s draft. The future assets are very critical because Lebron James is likely to opt out and sign with another team next summer so having a potential top five pick puts them in position to draft the next face of the franchise when he leaves.

From the Celtics perspective this was a great trade for two reasons. Number one you no longer have a starting PG the size of a high school freshman and ultimately got better by upgrading from Thomas to Irving. Irving is Thomas but bigger. Forget the scoring averages Irving is a slightly better scorer, slightly better defender, and is a lot bigger. Number two, this trade is great for the Celtics moving forward in terms of Cap flexibility. Next year Irving will only make a tic under $21 million dollars where as Thomas is in the last year of his deal and wants the Max contract next year. Thomas will be 29 next offseason and Boston giving him a five year max deal would not have been ideal at all and now they do not have to. Also by throwing Crowder into the deal and opting to offer Zizic instead of Guerschon Yabusele tell me the Celtics want to make room on the bench for Tatum and Yabusele to get the majority of forward minutes off the bench.

As this trade relates to the big picture of who wins the East in 2018 I believe the updated Vegas odds sum it up perfectly. Ultimately before this trade the Cavs had 4-1 odds to win the East and the Celtics had 10-1 odds and after the trade the odds for both teams remained the exact same. Point being the Cavaliers should still be the clear cut favorite to win the Eastern Conference and that the results of this trade will have more impact on the futures of both these teams than the present.

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