The Cleveland Cavaliers agreed to trade Kyrie Irving to the Boston Celtics in exchange for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and the Brooklyn Nets' 2018 unprotected first-round pick, according to ESPN's Jeff Goodman.
The Knicks were among several teams to make an offer for Irving, the 25-year-old former No. 1 draft pick, however New York was unwilling to trade Kristaps Porzingis as part of a deal and the Cavaliers wanted a package of younger talent and draft picks as opposed to Carmelo Anthony, whose name was among the rumors.
Irving averaged 25.2 points, 5.8 assists and 3.2 rebounds in 72 games for the Cavaliers, who have been Eastern Conference champions each of the past three seasons.
He reportedly wanted to be traded earlier in the offseason amid rumors LeBron James would leave Cleveland at the end of the 2017-18 season. To complete the deal, he will waive his 15 percent trade kicker, according to Yahoo! Sports' Shams Charania.
Thomas, 28, averaged 28.9 points and 5.9 assists per game for the Celtics, who lost to the Cavaliers in five games in the Eastern Conference finals last year. He is set to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of next season.
Jake Brown | Twitter |
All the rumors are finished. The Cavaliers just traded their superstar point guard to the one team that was going to fight them for an Eastern Conference title. Now the Celtics could be the ones to de-throne the King. I love the deal here for both the Cavs and the Celtics.
The Cavs get Thomas, who still gives them an All-Star point guard in the final year of James' contract. They also receive Crowder in the prime of his career at 27 years old, who is under contract through 2020. They get a big man in Zizic, who has a chance to be a contributor off the bench. They also get the Nets' 2018 pick, which should be in the lottery. This is a nice haul for the Cavs for a guy that wanted out.
The Celtics now get their franchise point guard to run the show through 2020. They get to have a big three of Irving, Gordon Hayward and Al Horford. Combine them with Jaylen Brown, Marcus Morris and rookie Jayson Tatum, and the Celtics could be the new beasts in the East. An Eastern Conference finals rematch is going to be an incredible seven-game series this time around.