Analyzed Sports | Charron Elliott
The Rare Win-Win Scenario
Tuesday the NBA headlined the sports world yet again this summer with another huge trade, as the Cleveland Cavaliers sent four-time All-Star Kyrie Irving to the Boston Celtics for two-time All-Star Isaiah Thomas, starting forward Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic, and a 2018 first round draft pick. The debate about who won the trade has been ongoing over the last 48 hours but I will demonstrate why this is that rare “Win-Win” scenario that basically never happens in a professional sports trade.
Why This Trade is Good For the Cavs
We all knew that after rumors surfaced about Kyrie Irving’s unhappiness in Cleveland and feelings about being under LeBron James’ spotlight, that it was only a matter of time before some sort of move was going to take place. With that being said Cleveland made a smart decision in their trade to Boston and in Isaiah Thomas they get a point guard, who while standing at only 5 foot 9, was third in the NBA last season in points per game (28.9). He has a similar playing-style as Irving in that they are excellent scoring point guards and can take over a game when called upon. Thomas also has the respect of LeBron, who last season called Thomas a “Superstar” and on Thursday he defended IT when some Celtics’ fans were seen on social media burning his jersey.
Jae Crowder is “Three and D” type of player because he can make open threes and gives you maximum effort on defense. Zizic is a 7 footer who probably isn’t being talked about as much due to the fact he played in the Euro-League last season, but he was drafted in the first round of the 2016 by Boston and has a lot of potential. Lastly, there is that 2018 first round pick the Cavs will get from Boston, which technically belongs to the Brooklyn Nets and I anticipate that could turn into at least a lottery pick.
Why This Trade is Good for the Celtics
This trade is great for the Celtics mainly because they got the best player out of this deal. As I said before, Kyrie and Isaiah have similar playing styles, however I give the slight edge to Kyrie mainly due to the fact that he can impact the game better defensively when he wants to. Keep in mind that because of Isaiah’s small frame he is a huge defensive liability, as opposed to Kyrie, who at 6 foot 3, mainly just lacks effort on the defense. Kyrie has also brings a championship pedigree to the Celtics, nailing this shot during game seven of the 2016 NBA Finals to give the Cleveland Cavaliers their first NBA title.
Two other key factors that played a role in this are age and current contracts. Isaiah Thomas (28) is due for a max deal after next season, as opposed to Kyrie (25) who still has two years left on his contract. Also IT tore his labrum in his right hip during the Playoffs last season and you never know how that can affect a player who already has to work twice as hard to have a significant impact on the game because of his size.
Overall the Celtics with Irving will have three All-Star caliber players, in forward Gordon Hayward, who recently signed with the Celtics this summer and center Al Horford. Rookie, Jayson Tatum out of Duke, who is only 19 and second year player Jaylen Brown (20) both show signs of great potential, so the Celtics could have something great brewing for a few years to come especially post LeBron’s retirement.
So you could argue either way with this at least for now but only time will tell who the real winner of this trade was.