Chris Mannix on OMF: Kyrie Irving stays with Celtics long-term ‘barring something crazy’
Kyrie Irving is the new face of the Celtics, and The Vertical’s Chris Mannix joined Ordway, Merloni and Fauria on Wednesday to discuss what he called a “home run” deal for Boston.
Though the Celtics parted ways with Isaiah Thomas, who elevated the team to the top of the Eastern Conference and had become a fan favorite, Jae Crowder and the 2018 Brooklyn Nets pick, Mannix believes it was the right move for Celtics brass to make.
“This is a great trade,” Mannix said. “You have a 25-year-old franchise point guard, signed for two more years, and I would argue most likely barring something crazy happening will be with this team long-term. I don’t know you pass up on a trade like this.”
Danny Ainge echoed those sentiments on Tuesday night, saying that Irving is one of the most talented scorers in the league and “we think his best years are ahead of him.”
Although Thomas had become a star in his own right, according to Mannix, the team got his best performance last season while Irving is just entering his prime.
“[Thomas] can still be an All-Star level player, but a top-five MVP player, I don’t know if that’s in the future for Isaiah,” Mannix said. “Plus, you’re paying a guy maybe 30 million dollars a year who’s only about 5-foot-10 and guys that size, they don’t really age all that well. And so Isaiah in his 30s I think will start to decline, not precipitously, but I think he’s start to decline a little bit over the next few years.”
Much of the focus in the trade has been on the NBA’s first-ever swap of two players who averaged over 25 points per game in the previous season, but Boston’s willingness to part with its Brooklyn asset is also a key component. Mannix says the pick may not be as valuable as some are speculating.
“I would not count the Nets being bottom five this year,” he said. “I watched a lot of them living in New York last year, and they’re not good, but they play hard. They got a little bit better. I could see the Nets finishing with the sixth or seventh worst record, which makes this deal even better.”
Mannix also acknowledged that while the Cavs did not need to trade Irving, this is a good deal for Cleveland because it keeps them in contention for at least the Eastern Conference crown and gives them long-term protection with the Nets pick.
As for the Celtics’ chances, he said, “I don’t think [Irving] can be number one necessarily,” but it shouldn’t matter in the short term anyway.
“The way I look at it is you’re not competing for a championship this year,” Mannix said. “You’re not competing for a championship the next three years. As long as Golden State exists, nobody else is winning – simple as that. Barring an injury, you’re not winning. So what you’re trying to do is the next couple of years develop chemistry, get Gordan Hayward and Kyrie on the same page, and then hope that maybe Jayson Tatum develops into that number one.”
While Mannix believes this year’s No. 5 pick has the chance to develop into a franchise player, he said both Tatum and Jaylen Brown are not ready to be “significant contributors.”
For now, it will be up to the coaching prowess of Brad Stevens to continue to field hybrid lineups with a dearth of bigs on the roster and help the new core of Hayward and Irving to adjust to Boston.
Full article @ Chris Mannix on OMF: Kyrie Irving stays with Celtics long-term ‘barring something crazy’
Source: GreenStreet Blog