Well, that’ll teach me to complain about how bored I am. So late this afternoon after weeks of back and forth the Cleveland Cavaliers found a trade partner to unload their beleaguered point guard Kyrie Irving. And by clicking on this I’m sure you have a good idea who that partner is.
Trades between conference rivals or frontrunners aren’t commonplace. Teams tend to hoard their own from other top competitors when a trip to the Finals is at stake. But in this case we had a player that needed to be moved and a player that was going to pose quite the financial conundrum next summer for his current team. So while it can be argued that a move needed to be made, it can also be argued that it could have looked much more different than it does.
Winner: Isaiah Thomas
I mean, he gets to play with LeBron James so that’s plus number one. Also, due to the number of shooters the Cavs can deploy Thomas will be an even more effective weapon scoring at the rim and creating. Although he may represent a slight drop off in three point shooting the open looks he’s likely to receive as the result of having better shooters around him should provide him a better chance at improving upon his 38% mark from last year. Plus, due to the Cavs outstanding spacing he becomes a multi-faceted weapon on offense when paired with his already existing superior skill set on offense.
Loser: Ante Zizic
Yeah, on its face it would seem that Zizic would be a loser here. Amidst the reports of him having a god awful Summer League it was to no surprise that he found himself as part of the expendables, and not in the good way. So, if he’s not waived he can prove himself as a valuable backup big for a team that desperately needs post toughness. He’ll have his shot he just needs to seize it.
Winner: Kyrie Irving
I thought long and hard about this one. And I’m of the conclusion I’ve figured out that despite his reputation as a gunner Kyrie craves direction. For proof look no further than his desired destinations for his trades and you’ll see that some of them are places with a very strong presence at head coach (i.e. Tom Thibodeau and Gregg Popovich).
Even though he didn’t get dealt to one of his preferred basketball nerd spots he probably couldn’t do ant better than landing in the hands of Brad Stephens. And Brad emphasizes ball movement in a way that leaves little wiggle room. The plus in this means that he will be exposed to a wide open offense that may ask more of him in terms of sharing the ball but can encourage him to be more aggressive at attacking the rim (which should be awesome).
Winner: Jae Crowder
Crowder is quite possible the biggest winner here. After being hampered by numerous trade requests for the past one and a half seasons he lands in quite possibly the best situation for anyone lobbying for their next deal for the following two reasons. A., you get to play alongside arguably the best player in our generation. And B., as the primary wing defender you get to show the eff off for the league in the case that Cleveland elects not to pony up for your services (which is totes possible BTW). It’s kind of a no brainer for him here.
Loser: Boston Celtics
Look y’all, there is probably no one more excited about the prospect of the Cs unseating the Cavs than yours truly. Unfortunately, they did a lot to interject serious doubt into this theorem today. To be fair there wasn’t much Boston did wrong here but the things they didn’t do well at they really whiffed on.
My main (and really only) beef is with them giving up an above average wing defender to their most formidable rival especially when it solves one of the few weaknesses they have. And if I’m being completely honest here they should’ve been able to complete a deal in which they could’ve nixed tossing Crowder and instead take one of the Cavs’ crappy contracts (i.e. Shumpert or hell even Love whilst flipping over some prospects).
In my outrage this signals the Celtics waiving an unnecessary white flag when they simply ain’t have it to do. I get them kicking the can down the road one year in regards to their point guard situation but I feel like the smarter move would’ve been to wait for him to be someone else’s burden (preferably out West).
Alas, he is Boston’s deal as they try to compete with the team they dealt him to ing with arguably their best wing defender.
Sure, he has two more years on his deal where as Crowder and Thomas are due for deals next summer but with talks of Bron rolling next summer I personally would’ve seized the opportunity to go head up with them this year.
Boston will most likely be team to beat in the East for years to come starting next Summer. However, I don’t see how clearly shorting themselves out of this season gives them the upper hand.
Congrats Kody, you’ve been given quite the gift as your introduction to the Association.
Winner: Cleveland Cavaliers
What more can I say? The Cavs unloaded a star player for one of slightly less than equal value (depending on who you ask) and a player that fills one of their biggest holes that plays within the conference. Not to mention that they’ll also have possession of the Boston pick via the Nets (who’ll be better but not even remotely good).
Although the noise is pretty goddamned loud around Bron bolting next Summer it clearly hasn’t stopped the Cavs from pursuing another ring before the pending Bronbandonmemt. Just wonder if Boston realizes that they just potentially gifted the Cavs another Finals appearance (in which they’ll get killed) when they really didn’t have to.