A move that was bound to happen after Kyrie Irving shocked the NBA by announcing his desire to leave the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Boston Celtics acquired Irving in a trade that sent Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and the Brooklyn Nets' 2018 first-round pick to the Cavs on Tuesday.
The trade has been reported by a number of media outlets since that day, and many called it a necessary move, even though many were hoping Irving would return and the Cavs and Kyrie's camp could and would work things out. Instead, Irving had no interest in reconciling and the Celtics were high on Irving's list of preferred destinations. He wanted so badly to leave, Irving sacrificed millions of dollars and waived a trade-kicker to facilitate the trade.
That first concession was a trade kicker in the form of a $5.8 million dollar payment that was due to Irving upon any trade. So too, Irving waived his right to signing a supermax contract down the road, seeing as supermax deals can only be signed with the team who drafts you. The best Irving can now do is a max deal which will become available to him at the end of the 2018-19 NBA season.
Irving has long been regarded as one of the NBA's premier point guards. But, he hasn't really gotten the recognition most stars of his caliber get, simply because he'd been playing alongside (or behind) Lebron James. In an attempt to get out of James' shadow, Irving wanted a chance to prove his worth elsewhere and the Celtics were more than pleased to acquire his talents. His issues with his situation had been well documented.
Developments came to light that while many of the Cavs were hoping to see Irving in their uniform, ESPN.com's Dave McMenamin reported thoughts of keeping him "became unrealistic" because Irving informed Cavaliers brass "that he would rather not report to training camp than begin another season with Cleveland." That was the "aha moment" for the organization.
There were also rumored issues that existed between James and Irving and speculation that Irving wasn't speaking with his Cavs teammates. Still, upon news of the trade, the arguably best player in basketball (James) tweeted his respect and well wishes for Irving saying, "That's the only way to be to the kid! Special talent/guy! Nothing but respect and what a ride it was our 3 years together Young Gode"
While Irving is perhaps the best player in this trade, many are arguing the Celtics gave up a lot to make this deal possible. Some, in fact, are suggesting it was too steep a price to pay and that the combination of players going to Cleveland will make this a more than fair value. Thomas will be a welcome addition to the Cavs roster, as will the other pieces of the trade, specifically the Net's 2018 draft choice which gives the Cavs confidence that even in the long-term, they have some security. It may even be enough to keep James in Cleveland.