Winners and Losers of the Kyrie Irving Trade
Kyrie Irving is on the move. He’s now a member of the Boston Celtics. The Cavaliers came to an agreement to trade their star point guard to the rival Celtics in exchange for their own star point guard. Here’s a breakdown of what each team will receive.
Celtics Receive: Kyrie Irving
Cavaliers Receive: Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic, and Brooklyn’s 2018 first round pick
While looking at this trade on paper, it looks like the Cavaliers won this deal. While I think they did end up on the better side of it, I don’t think we should be calling the Celtics losers. This is a good trade for both teams. Just like in any trade, there are always winners and losers. Sometimes those winners or losers can be those who weren’t involved in the trade at all. Here are my winners and losers of this trade between the Cavaliers and Celtics.
Kyrie Irving: Kyrie got what he wanted. He now gets to be the guy in Boston. He will have a much bigger role on this Celtics team than he had on the Cavaliers. Even though he hasn’t played a single game with the Celtics yet, this is now Kyrie Irving’s team. All the attention will be on him. Gordon Hayward will take some of the attention, but his name doesn’t demand attention anywhere close to that of LeBron James. LeBron James was always the story in Cleveland, and Kyrie was left in his shadow. Not anymore, at least not until the Celtics and Cavs play each other.
Boston Celtics: This is a great move for the Celtics. They get a top 10 NBA player. They got younger at the position, added a better scorer, a player who’s won a championship, and got a contract that gives them security for at least one additional year. Not only did the Celtics add Kyrie Irving, but they were able to hold onto young players Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum. Brown has elite defensive potential, while Tatum has elite offensive potential. In addition to the contracts of Brown and Tatum, the Celtics have Gordon Hayward locked up long term. All they need to do now is get Kyrie to sign a long term deal, and they’ve put themselves in position to be at the top of the NBA for a long time.
Cavs Bench: Here I am again telling you how bad the Cavaliers bench was last season. Now they’ll have at least one dependable player coming off the bench. The addition of Jae Crowder is a good pick up in this deal. Crowder scored 13.9 points in 32.4 minutes a game last season. He can be a reliable scorer off the bench for Cleveland. He’s a 39.8% shooter from 3PT range. He’ll get a lot of shots because of the attention LeBron and Isaiah Thomas will demand. Crowder also helps the Cavs with his defense. The Cavs defense was bad last year. Crowder is a good defender, and the Cavs desperately need someone they can rely on defensively. Jae Crowder will be a weapon for the Cavaliers off the bench.
Cavs 4th Quarter Scoring: The Cavaliers struggled to close games last year. They were outscored in the fourth quarter game after game. It doomed them in the Finals, especially in game 3 when they lost the lead right at the end because they failed to score. The Cavs have now added Isaiah Thomas, who led the Celtics in scoring the most fourth quarter points per game (Tied with Nets). Thomas was at his best when the game was most important. The Cavaliers need that kind of weapon to close out games in the fourth quarter.
Jae Crowder: As a member of the Boston Celtics, Jae Crowder was often tasked with guarding LeBron James. He didn’t do a bad job, but that’s always a tough task. As a member of the Cavs, Crowder will no longer have the assignment to guard LeBron. He now gets to play alongside LeBron, meaning he’ll have a legit chance of being in the NBA Finals next year. Anyone who gets to be on the same team as LeBron should consider themselves a winner, unless you’re Kyrie Irving……
Kyrie Irving: I have Irving as one of my winners, but I also feel like he’s a loser. He’s a winner because he got what he wanted, but he’s a loser because now he has the task of trying to beat LeBron James in the Eastern Conference, which hasn’t gone well for anyone over the past seven years. Kyrie will have some good players around him, but I think he got a slight downgrade. Cleveland has a better shot of being the team that comes out of the Eastern Conference. That may not be the case long term, but at least for right now it is.
Celtics Defense: The Celtics ranked 18th in defensive efficiency last season, so it wasn’t an area of strength for them. Replacing Thomas with Irving is probably going to have little difference on defense, but the departure of Jae Crowder will. Crowder has the ability to guard multiple positions, and he does it pretty well. Any team would love to have a player with Crowder’s defensive abilities. They lost one of their better defensive players, which on top of trading Avery Bradley earlier in the offseason, hurts this team even more on defense.
Cavs Long Term Security: LeBron James is likely leaving Cleveland after this season. They just acquired Isaiah Thomas, who has one year left on his deal. He’ll likely demand a massive contract, which the Cavs probably won’t want to give him. This leaves the Cavs with Kevin Love as their star player. Remember last time Love was the star? His team never made the playoffs. They’ll still have a good core of players, but nobody who can put them at the top. After this season, the Cavs could go back into rebuilding mode. They did a good job of getting the Nets first round pick from the Celtics. That pick has potential to be first overall, but even then it’s no sure thing. They could end up picking a player who doesn’t do well in the NBA. It could turn into another Kyrie Irving, but could also turn into another Anthony Bennett.
2K18 Cover: Awkward……………