The Trade That Shocked The League
In a move that has shocked the entire NBA, the Boston Celtics have traded Isaiah Thomas to the Cavs for Kyrie Irving.
— Boston Sports Report (@BSR_Official_) August 22, 2017
As a fan this absolutely sucks, but when you think of it from a business standpoint, it might make more sense. Isaiah Thomas put the Celtics back on the map after they were a laughing stock of a team. He embodies everything that it meant to be a Celtic and it all of Celtics Nation will certainly miss The Little Guy. Thank you IT!!
"Isaiah embodied what it meant to be a Celtic. He captured fans’ hearts not only with his spirit, but his personality.” – Danny Ainge. pic.twitter.com/Xz85keUYHq
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) August 23, 2017
A Business Decision
Now, first off, I believe this upcoming season will define Danny Ainge’s career. If this move works out, he looks like a genius, if it doesn’t every move he makes from now on will be heavily scrutinized.
A lot of people are upset with Danny Ainge for making a business decision like this with a player that did so much for this organization. But, if IT can make it a business and talk about wanting a max contract, why can’t Danny Ainge make a business decision?
Isaiah Thomas’ biggest mistake in Boston was saying he wanted the Brinks trucks brought out for his next contract. While he may or may not deserve a max contract, he put Danny Ainge in a tough spot. Danny knows that IT is not willing to negotiate at this point and with the contract situations the Celtics have going on, it would be very hard to re-sign IT to the max next season and the Celtics may not have even wanted to make him a max guy. Add in his bad hip now and you probably do not want to give him that money anymore.
Taking A Beating
No one really knows how bad the hip is now, but regardless, there is no way that IT can duplicate the season he just had. A clear cut MVP candidate last season, he will not be able to average almost 30 points a game playing alongside LeBron. Another thing to keep in mind is this, IT attacks the rim a lot and take an absolute beating doing so. If his hip is an issue, he will not be able to continue that and he risks being hurt more taking that same beating every night. He is no longer a young player, he is coming up on 30 years old. The only player that can withstand the type of beating as they get older is Tom Brady.
Anytime you have the chance to land a player of Kyrie Irving’s stature, you need to take it. Kyrie Irving is an absolute stud. In my opinion, I think he is a top 3 point guard in this league along with Westbrook and Harden.
I have also always thought that if Kyrie wasn’t playing with LeBron these last few seasons, he could be the MVP of the league. His skill set is amazing, the plays he makes are jaw dropping. Every time the Celtics and Cavs have matched up since 2015 in the playoffs, the player I worried about the most was Kyrie. When he is on, you know you are going to lose. Think about game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals. The Celtics played very well after winning game 3, but Kyrie Irving put the Celtics in a body bag that game. He single handedly won the game for the Cavs, he was unconscious. Every time the Celtics gained momentum, Kyrie answered back. Including dropping 21 points in the third quarter.
Yes, we’ve seen Isaiah Thomas take over games like that, but doing stuff like that when you have someone on your team like LeBron makes it more impressive, in my opinion. That’s nothing against IT either. I had an incredible amount of fun watching him dominate last season and put us back on the map before that, I’m just looking at this from a strategic angle other than an emotional one. I think both players are very comparable offensively, it on the defensive side where I think makes the major difference.
Defense: The Major Difference
Which brings me to my next point, defense. Everyone knows Isaiah Thomas was a liability on defense. He’s to small to cover anyone, plain and simple. Kyrie may not be the best defender in the world, but being 6 inches taller automatically makes him a better defender. He is not the best defender in the world, but when he wants to lock in, he can be very good.
If this trade doesn’t go down, with Avery Bradley gone, who covers Kyrie? There for sure is no one that could do the same job that Avery did and it surely wasn’t going to be Isaiah. You could figure it out, or you can give the problem to the Cavs. The Cavs are now the team with the major defensive liability and have to figure out how to stop Kyrie. Their defense was already a major flaw last season and adding IT makes their defense even worse. Like I said before, when Kyrie went off, you knew you had no shot, so I’m looking forward to the Cavs finding that out that hard way. I also have to think that my guy Brad Stevens also knows exactly how to stop IT, but that’s just a guess.
The Nets Pick
As far as the rest of the trade goes, to me, it’s not that big of a deal. A lot of people are complaining the Nets pick was traded, but those same people complain when Danny didn’t trade any of the other Nets picks. So to you I say, shut up, you can’t have it both ways. If there was ever a Nets pick to trade, this was the one. While the incoming draft class may be good, we have our young guys Brown and Tatum and I cannot go through the stress of another draft lottery. In addition to this, the Nets have improved a good amount and could potentially not even be a top 5 pick.
Teams that can be worse than Brooklyn this season: Chicago, Atlanta, New York, Phoenix, Lakers. The Magic, Kings, and Pacers won't be good https://t.co/SxqdtSqgJt
— Michael Pina (@MichaelVPina) August 23, 2017
We also still have the pick we got from Philly in the trade for number 1 that will still be a lottery pick.
Ante Zizic And Jae Crowder
Ante Zizic may or may not turn out to be a solid player, so I am okay seeing him go. As far as Jae Crowder goes, I was surprised they didn’t move him sooner. With the addition of Gordon Hayward, Crowder’s role became unclear and he probably wouldn’t be satisfied with coming off the bench. The guy has a ton of pride and is very easily pissed off. Trading Crowder also tells me the Celtics are all in on young guys Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum. Both guys seems to have unlimited potential and we’ve already seen that Jaylen has improved greatly since the end of his rookie season.
The Bottom Line
Overall, Kyrie Irving and Isaiah Thomas are almost equally talented on offensive (Kyrie is slightly better), the Celtics are getting a player who is 6 inches taller, who is not as much of a defensive liability, who is only 25 years old with 2 years left on his contract. In my opinion, the Celtics won this trade. While everyone may have different opinions on whether this was a good trade or not, I believe from a business and strategy standpoint the Celtics made a great move. Kyrie is only 25 and not even in his prime yet. A guy who I believe is an MVP type player outside of the shadow of LeBron. Luckily for us, we get to see if that’s true. Opening night cannot come soon enough when these two teams match up.
A taste of what’s to come ☘️ pic.twitter.com/BzP3OgoQ28
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) August 23, 2017
- Isaiah Thomas and Kyrie Irving: Images via Keith Allison - Flickr and Dudek1337 - Wikipedia Commons | CC BY 2.0