Anderson: Celtics shouldn’t owe Cavs anything extra in trade for Kyrie Irving
Just under a week ago, the Cavaliers had an agreement on a four-for-one deal that sent Kyrie Irving to the Celtics in exchange for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, 2016 first-round pick Ante Zizic, and a 2018 Brooklyn first-round pick with zero protections on it.
But after a concerning Thomas physical turned into a â€˜very sensitive situationâ€™ for the Cavaliers, Cleveland general manager Koby Altman wants the Celtics to add more.
And the Cavs — most definitely led by team owner Dan Gilbert on this crusade, who probably sent this request to Altman with a letter written in Comic Sans — actually think that theyâ€™re operating on this planet when theyâ€™re requesting another first-round pick and/or star prospects Jaylen Brown or Jayson Tatum (the No. 3 overall picks from 2016 and 2017) to complete what would then become a lopsided five-for-one swap.
Adorable, so very Cavaliers, and oh, how I could I forget? Laughably dumb.
Iâ€™ll be the first to admit that I think that the Celtics said too much when it came to Isaiahâ€™s hip. From Brad Stevens saying that Thomas needed to go through another round of tests and examination to Danny Ainge saying it played a factor in trading him when they did, there was little left to the Cleveland imagination when it came time for his physical.
But unless the Cavs — you know, the very same team that saw Thomas physically unable to go for the final three games of their East Finals showdown with the Celtics last May because of that hip — buried their heads in the sand and didnâ€™t do their own homework on this trade, they would have known that Thomas was still ailing.
So there was absolutely nothing deceitful said or done on the part of the Celtics, who worked with the 28-year-old Thomas this summer to determine that surgery was not necessary, when it came to selling the Cavs on Thomasâ€™ inclusion in the trade.
Itâ€™s only now, with the realization that theyâ€™re trading a 25-year-old star player in Irving and with the likelihood that both Thomas and LeBron James walk as free agents to go somewhere else in 2018 — and thus make the Cavs as irrelevant as they were when LeBron first left in 2010, if not more so thanks to an aging roster — are the Cavaliers reportedly looking for more potential future stars (emphasis on stars) from the Celtics.
This is quite the leap to make, and, again, all reeks of Gilbert posturing for more.
But in no world do the Celtics owe the Cavaliers more than what theyâ€™re currently paying.
Not to the point that the Cavs think, anyways.Â
When the Rockets acquired Chris Paul from the Clippers, they moved Patrick Beverley, Lou Williams, Sam Dekker, Montrezl Harrell, Darrun Hilliard, DeAndre Liggins, Kyle Wiltjer, along with a future (and protected) first-round pick and cash considerations, to make it work. That is one massive collection of good players, but largely bit pieces and garbage for one superstar. The Thunder traded Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis to Indiana in exchange for Paul George. And when the Kings traded enigmatic big man DeMarcus Cousins to the Pelicans, they received guard Buddy Hield, Tyreke Evans, Langston Galloway, and a 2017 first-round pick and second-rounder (from the 76ers).
All three will be free agents in 2018, and while Irving being locked up for at least the next two seasons is worth more, of course, itâ€™s obvious that the Câ€™s original package beats the hell out of whatâ€™s been established as the going rate for blockbuster deals.
Even if the hip injury delays his start to the season, which the Celtics acknowledged as a possibility, Thomas is coming a season in which he averaged the third-most points per game in the NBA (28.9), seventh in Player Efficiency Rating, and fifth in MVP voting. Barring a last-second decision for surgery, Thomas is probably as good as the Cavs will get when it comes to replacing Kyrieâ€™s offensive impact for Jamesâ€™ final year in town.
Crowder, while perennially overvalued by Boston fans, makes sense for a Cleveland squad thatâ€™s had some straight-up terrible depth woes. Heâ€™s a capable defender, and he actually finished last year as the Câ€™s best three-point shooter, at 39.8 percent. Zizic, meanwhile, is a first-round pick thatâ€™s dominated Europe throughout his pro career.
But the most valuable piece is that Brooklyn pick.
The biggest reason the Cavaliers made this deal, this pick could very well serve as the Cavsâ€™ get-out-of-irrelevancy free card if the Nets are as bad as they could be this season and (with some good fortune at the draft lottery) help the Cavaliers land the No. 1 overall pick at the 2018 NBA Draft. And if that does indeed happen, itâ€™s theirs to use with zero issues, as the Celtics did not protect this pick in absolutely any fashion. Thatâ€™s something that nobody has offered in those aforementioned superstar trades, and something that the Cavaliers would be unable to find should they choose to void the deal with Boston and seek to trade Irving, who obviously cannot and will not return to Cleveland for the 2017-18 season because of his issues with LeBron, elsewhere.
Something the Cavaliers should realize as much more valuable than their unrealistic last-second demands or unnecessary squabbling over an extra second-round draft pick. and
It’s already more than what they’re probably owed for a player thatÂ cannot return to their team without an obvious, potentially destructive problem next month.Â
Full article @ Anderson: Celtics shouldn’t owe Cavs anything extra in trade for Kyrie Irving
Source: GreenStreet Blog