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Kyrie Irving Finally Traded; Celtics Nab Him in Blockbuster Deal

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Kyrie Irving stirred up the NBA trade block when he asked to be traded from the Cavaliers in July. Many people had varying takes on the issue, including past players saying that the Cavaliers should trade him to the worst team. Well, Cleveland went the complete opposite direction. They decided to trade him to their top contender in the Eastern Conference, the Boston Celtics. This only continues the whirlwind summer of free agency in the NBA, with many players receiving super max deals, and many other superstars being traded or signing with other teams in hopes to overtake the Warriors in the West.

In return for Irving, the Cavaliers are getting all-star Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic, and the Brooklyn Nets’ 2018 first round pick. With multiple years left on his contract, Irving was worth much more than say Paul George who was traded to the Thunder for Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis. You can see the difference in value of the return players, and the Cavaliers got just what they needed in return.

By trading Kyrie, Cleveland would leave a gaping hole at the PG position. With Lebron, he could easily cover that up, but you still cannot start Derrick Rose at this point in his career. So, in return they get Isaiah Thomas. Thomas was named an all-star last season after having a breakout year (28.9 ppg, 5.9 apg). You might think that 5.9 apg is not that many, but Irving had 5.8 last year. It will not be much of a change. IT can dish the ball, but it is not his strongest skill, and Lebron, like he did for Irving, will make the pressure to pass the ball non-existent for Thomas.

The Cavaliers were also one of the worst defending teams in the league last season. We all know Lebron’s defensive prowess, but their next best defenders were JR Smith and Tristan Thompson, and both of those guys only play hard defense when they want to. By adding a defensive stalwart like Jae Crowder will help the Cavaliers immensely. Crowder can pick up the slack left by Kevin Love and sub-par defender, Thomas on a Cavaliers team desperately needing attention on the defensive side of the ball.

Cleveland will also receive the Nets first round pick that the Celtics were in possession of. The pick will be unprotected, and the pick is anticipated to be a high one. With multiple rumors about Lebron James leaving Cleveland after this upcoming year, and now trading Kyrie, all that is left of the “Big 3” is Kevin Love. And let’s be honest, Kevin Love is way behind his 20/20 days and is not leading a team to a championship in today’s era. So, it would only make sense to try to start to rebuild before the rebuild officially starts. By receiving this high pick, the Cavaliers can get a great young talent through the draft to help shorten the rebuild process and get back to relevancy if Lebron ends up leaving.

Also, in the trade, the Cavaliers will receive the 23rd overall pick in the 2017 draft, Ante Zizic. Zizic is a 6-11 big man, with a mean streak. The Cavaliers need a young talent like this to help secure their frontcourt and improve their aforementioned weak defense. Do not expect Zizic to help out right away, but come playoffs, he could be a big boost for Cleveland.

This trade only demonstrates the fear that the Cavaliers front office has over the idea that Lebron could leave them next year, and why should it not scare them. The worst part of the trade is that they gave Irving to their top contender in the Eastern Conference, and that might be the only negative of the trade. The front office covered both sides of their dilemma: win this year with Lebron, because we might not be back for awhile, or trade Kyrie and begin the rebuild process? They got great talent for their run this year and potentially great talent for the future. And this talent for the future could be just what the doctor ordered. And by doctor, I mean Lebron James. The rest of the league should be worried, because the Cleveland Cavaliers just got much better.

About Aaron Morse

UW-La Crosse Class of 2019 | Majoring in Sports Journalism. Minoring in Sports Broadcasting and Coaching | You can follow me on Twitter @FlyinHawaiian36

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