By: Heath Montgomery
What the hell just happened?!?!?!
Last night, the Cavaliers and Celtics just rocked the NBA landscape with a blockbuster trade involving 2 All-Stars, Kyrie Irving and Isaiah Thomas; this is huge for the Cavs and Celtics, the Eastern Conference, and the entire NBA.
The entire details of the trade are:
Cavaliers get– Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic, and the Nets 2018 First round pick
Celtics get– Kyrie Irving
This whole trade is a lot to process right now, but I just want to go over my initial thoughts when hearing about the trade:
The Cavaliers won the trade
I knew the Cavs were going to get some good assets back in exchange for Kyrie, but Cavaliers GM, Koby Altman, managed to squeeze out every last drop of Kyrie Irving’s worth. He not only got a scorer to replace Kyrie, but he also added a two-way player, Crowder, that will help them out on the defensive end. The biggest part of this trade might have been the inclusion of the Brooklyn Nets 2018 1st round pick which could be valuable in next year’s NBA Draft or in another trade. You hate to see Kyrie leave the Cavaliers because he is one of the most prolific scorers in the NBA, but I believe this is one of the best offers the Cavaliers could have received. Both sides got better, but the Cavaliers won the trade.
The Brooklyn Draft Pick is HUGE
I kind of touched on it in my last thought, but I wanted to discuss just how big it is for the Cavaliers. With Brooklyn not making any huge progress this offseason, one can expect them to have another lackluster year. So, let’s just say that the Nets have another bad year and the Cavs end up getting a top 5 pick out of their horrible season, then that will let Cleveland select from some of the top talent in a 2018 class. They would be able to select from names like Michael Porter Jr., Marvin Bagley, and DeAndre Ayton; any of these guys would be great additions to a loaded Cavs lineup. This pick also helps the Cavaliers plan for a future without LeBron. Everyone knows that LeBron leaving the Cavs next year is a real possibility, and with a high pick in the draft the Cavaliers would be able to rebuild more smoothly in a post-LeBron world.
Another option is flipping the Nets pick for more assets to put on the team this year. The Cavaliers need all the help they can get when going up against the Warriors and Celtics next season, so why not use that future draft pick to build a super-team that can compete and beat other great teams in the league.
The Brooklyn Nets first round draft picks have allowed the Celtics to make many great deals around the league, now it is the Cavaliers turn to mess around with the pick and the possibilities are endless.
Can either team beat the Warriors?
I believe each team got better with this deal, but I’m still not sure if either of them can beat the Warriors if they played them in the Finals. If I had to pick which team has the better chance to beat the Warriors, I’d have to go with the Cavaliers. I just feel like the Cavaliers are adding the weapons to be able to compete with the Warriors in the Finals; the main thing they needed to add were two-way players and they’ve added several, including Crowder in this trade. I still have to give the edge the Warriors in a 7-game series, but the Cavaliers have the best chance against them.
Who will win the East?
I give the Cavs the better odds to beat the Warriors but they have to get there first. I think we will see these teams match up in the Eastern Conference Finals and it will be super exciting. It seems like everyone will have a chip on their shoulder as they are trying to prove their worth to their former team. LeBron and Kyrie will be interesting to watch with their recent feud. I feel as though I have to give the Cavaliers just because of LeBron but my opinion may change as I watch these teams play together.
We won’t have to wait long to see this match-up though; the Cavs and Celtics play on the NBA’s opening night.
This is going to be fun to watch.