Thursday 24 August 2017

Cavs - Celtics trade

So about a month ago Kyrie Irving decided he wanted out of Cleveland! Yesterday he got his wish. Being sent to the Boston Celtics in exchange for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and Brooklyn's 2018 first round pick.

So the big question, who came out of the trade better off...Short answer, I believe Cleveland did.
Heres why...

Before I get into it I just want to say my knowledge of the "business side'' of the NBA is pretty basic! I dont know what the "Derrick Rose rule" is. I also dont know what "Bird Rights" are. But based simply on the pieces moved and players who will either be unrestricted free agents or have player options after this season, here is my analysis.

In my eyes, this deal improves Boston a little, but not enough to elevate them above Cleveland! They get Irving who, in my opinion, is a taller version of Isaiah Thomas. An elite scorer and big time clutch performer, an ok but not elite distributer and fairly average defender. They got Gordon Hayward in free agency, but does he make up for the loss of Avery Bradley (how was he not an All NBA defensive player??), Kelly Olynyk and now Jae Crowder? Its hard to say, Marcus Morris (in the trade for Bradley) is a nice addition and they probably are better than they were last year. But you have to remember Cleveland absolutely demolished Boston in the East playoffs this year, if memory serves there was a game where Cleveland were up by 50 at halftime ON THE ROAD and lost in 5! This trade doesn't make up to much ground to me! Instead of an uncompetitive five game series, you might be looking at a five-six game series with score lines a little closer. But Cleveland still make the finals.

For the Cavs, I believe this deal helps them in the short term, but also gives them a little bit of security in the scenario that LeBron leaves after this season! Nothing can obviously make up for the hole left by a player like LeBron if he does leave. But I think this deal leaves them in a position where it's not 100% doom and gloom if he does.

First of all, Kyrie wanted out. If they didn't move him Cleveland's locker room this season would have been reality TV show worthy! Getting a player like Thomas in return is massive and I think will probably match Irving's production, or at least be thereabouts. Jae Crowder is a great fit next to LeBron being a "3 and D" wing player who can spread the floor and can guard the KD's, PG13s, Kawhi's and Haywards of the world. LeBron was pretty much the only viable match up for those taller, wing scorers the Cavs had last season and with Crowder they now have someone who can match up with them and allow LeBron to conserve a little energy. I don't know much about Ante Zizic, except he's Croatian and last season played in Turkey, funnily enough for a team coached by former Cavs coach David Blatt, not sure if he will stay in Europe or come to Cleveland, will just have to see. On top of that they also get the Nets first round pick of Boston which will most likely be a top 5 pick because let's face it, Brooklyn will probably be pretty ordinary. So in the short term the deal gives them a shorter version of Kyrie, a very solid and under rated 3 and D guy on the wing and an almost definite top 5 pick. In the scenario that Lebron leaves they would almost definitely be in rebuild mode and probably wont pay Isaiah Thomas the max deal he will looking for, Kyrie, Lebrons and Thomas' salaries will be off the books so they will have a tonne of cap space to work with and a high draft pick to build around. Obviously doesn't make up for the loss of LeBron but it doesn't leave them in a terrible position if he does.

So for those reasons if you had to pick a 'winner' of the trade I would pick Cleveland. However Boston didn't really 'lose'. They are still easily the second best team in the East and if Lebron leaves, will easily be elevated to the top spot.

As I said i'm not an expert on the business side of the NBA and hopefully there isn't some sort of rule or other little detail somewhere which makes all of the above irrelevant haha. But based on what I know, this is how I see it.


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