The trade between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Boston Celtics continues to be in flux thanks to Isaiah Thomas’ hip injury. After giving Thomas a physical, the Cavaliers are reportedly concerned about his recovery and are now seeking additional compensation to complete the trade to send Kyrie Irving to Boston.
For the Celtics’ part, they believe they were completely transparent in speaking about Thomas’ injury and are expected to strongly resist adding anyone else in the deal. That won’t stop Cleveland from asking however.
ESPN expert Adrian Wojnarowski appeared on SportsCenter and said that Cleveland is expected to inquire about a pair of young Celtics in Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum (transcription via Bleacher Report):
“Now, Cleveland is going to try to inquire about a couple of the Celtics’ young players, Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, who they tried to get in the original trade, that is very unlikely. But Boston still has a war chest of future first-round picks of their own, and some picks they control from other teams, and Cleveland is going to try to get one more of those to finalize this deal.”
This strategy makes sense for Cleveland as both Brown and Tatum are promising young prospects. Brown, last year’s third overall pick, is an excellent athlete with defensive potential and is a projected starter for the Celtics. Brown, the third overall pick this season, has an advanced offensive skillset and lit up the Las Vegas Summer League.
As Wojnarowski points out, the Celtics including either of those promising players is extremely likely, but Boston does have plenty of draft picks that they could include should they choose to. The question is whether they feel as if they need to.
Holding on to this stance could present a major hang-up in this trade which neither side wants at this point. It would seem likely that the two sides are able to come to some kind of agreement to make sure there is no awkward situation where Irving and Thomas would have to return to their respective teams.