When he was a player, current Boston Celtics president of basketball operations, Danny Ainge was known as a crybaby. If someone would look at him cross-eyed, he would call for a foul. If he messed up, it was not his fault. Now, following a huge trade for Kyrie Irving on Tuesday, we can only wait to see if he blames someone else for making the call, because he just threw away any chance for the Boston Celtics to win the NBA Championship anytime soon.
First of all, the Celtics got the Cleveland Cavaliers Kyrie Irving. Irving is a great player. Top five for his position, maybe even the best point guard on the court today. And that is it. What the Cleveland Cavaliers got was Isaiah Thomas. Thomas was drafted with the last pick of the same draft that Irving went number one overall. And while the 5′-9″ Thomas may have been the 60th overall pick in 2011, he has made an impact in the NBA, as a two-time All Star. Sure Irving is a four-time All Star, but we are not done yet. In addition to Thomas, the Cavs also received Jae Crowder, a veteran small forward. Crowder has a tremendous work ethic. He may not be a big name, but he will get the job done. He is not a bench player that a coach will put in to give starters a rest, he is a player that is going to go in and work his butt off. He is versatile and strong. A side note, Cleveland originally drafted Crowder, but on draft night, traded him to the Dallas Mavericks.
And we are not done with what Cleveland got in exchange for Irving. Croatian seven footer Ante Zizic, according to USAToday, was also included in the trade. While he has not officially played in the NBA, he has had a good run in Europe and as a big man, he should be key on the defensive boards for Cleveland and get some fast breaks started. And that would typically be a good trade, but we are still not done. In 2013, Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett were traded to the Brooklyn Nets and in return Ainge secured the first round pick of the Nets for 2018. Next years draft. And now, Cleveland gets that pick. It is hard to believe that the Celtics would give up that pick, especially in a trade that included three more players going for just one player in return.
Thomas is not a Irving. Irving is a great finisher, a great shooter. While Thomas has the range, he is in the same category as a Nate Robinson, Dana Barrows, Muggsy Bogues, or Spud Webb. He is small. Oh he can finish, getting shots past players who seem to be twice his size, but the Cavaliers are going to really like his court awareness and the assists he is going to get handing the ball off to LeBron James and company. Shooting wise, at the starting point guard position, the Celtics just got stronger, but as a court general, calling plays, making things happen, Cleveland may have the edge with Thomas. Plus, Cleveland’s bench just got a lot stronger with Crowder, and while Zizic is an unknown, at seven-feet, that is something. Plus throw in the draft prospects with the Nets first round pick in next years draft, the Cavaliers just got stronger all around.
The trade benefits the Cavaliers in another way. Irving wanted to be traded. He was having issues with LeBron James and how much he controlled the ball in games. Irving was the point guard, and James is a forward. Irving felt he should control the ball all the time and not James. Which is silly, but now he does not have to worry about that any more.
Ok CDA News fans, what do you think of the trade? Is Kyrie Irving going to make enough of an impact in Boston to take them to the next level or did Boston just give Cleveland the ammunition to win their next NBA Championship? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Commentary by Cletus Dillwood