Sport

Cavs trade Kyrie Irving to Celtics for package including Isaiah Thomas

The Cleveland Cavaliers met Kyrie Irving's trade demand in an eye-opening deal with the Boston Celtics, but the return was sensational given the point guard's complete lack of interest to stay.

Crowder, 27, 6-6 and 235 pounds, was drafted 34th overall by the Cavs in 2012 but traded to the Dallas Mavericks the next day. This is a trade that shakes up the Eastern Conference, with the two teams that met in the 2016 Conference Finals swapping big names and a very valuable draft pick. LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Paul George and Irving, four of the last five cover athletes, have all switched teams since being featured.

The top two teams in the East a year ago traded with each other.

The Cleveland Cavaliers reportedly agreed to trade All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving to the Boston Celtics in exchange for a package led by fellow All-Star point guard Isaiah Thomas. Some say that Thomas is truly a superstar and the only difference between he and Irving is six inches.

Now that Irving has received his wish of being "the man", though, he should happily report to Boston before the upcoming campaign. The Cavs are trying to build a team capable of winning another title before James can opt out of his contract and become a free agent next summer.

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Celtics general manager Danny Ainge also acknowledged the hip injury that caused Thomas to miss time during the playoffs played "some" role in his decision to make the deal, per ESPN.com's Jeff Goodman and Adrian Wojnarowski. With all of the moves that Boston has made this off-season, bringing in Kyrie may have put them over the top and ahead of the Cavaliers.

If James ends up leaving the Cavaliers once again, Crowder will not provide the same star power once offered by Irving.

Of course, Cleveland would prefer to get back to the NBA Finals this season and give the Warriors a real series, something that is definitely on the table with Crowder and a healthy Thomas on board.

If the Celtics weren't going to give Thomas a max contract, then it's a no-brainer to acquire an elite point guard who's only 25 years old with two years left on his current contract. Even if Thomas were to decide to sign with another team, the Cavs still could draft a top prospect to build with for the future. According to Broussard, Irving's request to get out of Cleveland was more about his desire to control the ball than anything else.



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