Finally, the trade between the Boston Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers exchanging Isaiah Thomas and Kyrie Irving is done. The deal was reported as being done over a week ago, with the Cavs sending Irving to the Celtics in exchange for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic, and the Brooklyn Nets 2018 unprotected first round pick.
Despite the deal being reported as done, things hit a snag when Thomas reported to Cleveland for his physical. Players must get the thumbs up from the receiving teams’ doctors and some question marks showed up regarding Thomas’ hip injury, which kept him on the sidelines during the closing games of the unsuccessful Celtics playoff series against the Cavs last season.
Due to the injury, the Cavs asked for the Celtics to kick in more assets, and a week-long standoff ensued until the sides came to an agreement on Wednesday night. According to Adrian Wojnarowksi of ESPN the Celtics agreed to send an extra second-round pick to Cleveland:
Boston will send its 2020 second-round pick via Miami to Cavaliers to complete the trade, league sources said. Boston would budge no more.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) August 31, 2017
A second round pick three years from now may not have much value, but Cleveland already did well in this trade. If Thomas’ hip injury ends up being minor, the Cavs will have added a guard who can produce at a level comparable to Irving, a valuable wing defender in Crowder (key to matching up with the Golden State Warriors), and a promising big man who could be the Cavs post player of the future in Zizic.
Additionally, the unprotected Nets pick is arguably the most valuable asset the Cavs are receiving. A potential top-5 pick in the draft that includes such high-profile prospects as Michael Porter and Marvin Bagley could be used to jump start a rebuild if LeBron James leaves after this season, or put another excellent piece around James to keep them in contention moving forward.
From the Celtics side of things, there is hope that Irving can hit another level and help them become a true championship contender. He is already a star in the NBA, but if the Celtics can unlock his full potential, he could potentially become the top-10 player that the franchise has been clamoring for.