18:30 and Wojbomb dropped the big one, the WojNuke.
Sources: Boston and Cleveland have agreed in principle to a deal involving PG Kyrie Irving.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojVerticalNBA) August 22, 2017
For a long time now the Boston Celtics have been in trade rumors almost constantly. Danny Ainge; beloved, despised, genius, idiot, has his finger on the trigger of a monster trade, arguably the biggest trade in years.
Elite, but arguably under performing Point Guard, Kyrie Irving, to Boston for Isaiah Thomas, the most popular Celtic since at least Kevin Garnett if not Larry Bird.
Thomas, 28 years old, is coming off a career year in which he dragged the Boston Celtics to the one seed and the Eastern Conference finals playing through physical pain, injury, emotional pain. Thomas played the season with an army of doubters and haters on his back, calls of “he’s too small”, “his defence isn’t good enough”, “he’s not a superstar” ringing around the internet and in the newspapers.
Irving, 25 years old, is also coming off a career year in which he was an integral part of the 51 wins, NBA Finalist, Cleveland Cavaliers, who demolished Boston in 5 games on their way to the Eastern Conference title. Irving is derided for his poor defence, like Thomas, and has had his basketball IQ (particularly on the defensive end) questioned (unlike Thomas).
The trade is a tough one for Celtics fans to stomach. Thomas is as beloved an athlete there can be. In Boston, he’s held in the highest esteem, up there with Patrice Bergeron and David Ortiz. He is everything a Boston sports fan wants. He’s incredibly talented, he hustles, he works hard and he has an incredible back story. He was the last guy picked in his draft. He went from bad situation to bad situation to a crappy Celtics team with no hopes of winning anything. And then BANG, Thomas explodes into an offensive beast, in a system that suited his play and within record time has the Celtics as one of the major contenders for the NBA title.
There are two things, however, that incline this writer to Ainge pulling the trigger. The Brinks truck and the hip.
Isaiah Thomas has been the absolute breakout star of the NBA in the last two seasons without a shadow of a doubt and is nearing the end of a very team friendly deal. The man wants paying. The man wants the MAX. And well he should! He took a basement team to the top of the East, is one of the most exciting and marketable men in basketball right now and is putting up incredible numbers. But he’s 29 in February, and with the money, he’ll want years. Kyrie Irving is three and a half years his junior, and Kyrie is healthy.
Isaiah Thomas has Brinks Truck sandals and they are amazing. 💵💵💵 pic.twitter.com/sNwz4manIH
— Chris Forsberg (@ESPNForsberg) July 31, 2017
The hip. Hanging over the Boston Celtics organisation, the hip of Damocles is likely a huge concern for Ainge and Brad Stevens, the Celtics head coach. Hip injuries are bad news, potentially career altering bad news, and whilst Thomas hasn’t (thank goodness) gone under the knife, that possibility remains in the air. Thomas’, according to Ainge just yesterday, recovery is going well and that recent tests show he does not require surgery. However, with more scans due in September and a gruelling season ahead of him before free agency in 2018, is it worth the risk?
Kyrie, is frustrated in Cleveland, and why wouldn’t he be? He’s playing second fiddle to arguably the greatest player of all time, but a man who won’t commit his long term future to the team plays for a terrible owner and a coach many people have doubts surrounding. In Boston Kyrie would be the top banana. The Celtics would become his team, a big three of himself, free agent signing Gordon Hayward and vet big man Al Horford. He would play for one of the best GM’s in basketball, (don’t forget this is one of the best and fastest rebuilds in history) and one of the best coaches.
The combination of the big three under Brad Stevens should excite every Celtics fan, even at a cost of our favourite player and maybe Jae Crowder. Kyrie is a proven elite talent, with youth on his side. With Brad Stevens and in this Celtics team he would finally make an all NBA team and propel the Boston Celtics to at least the NBA Finals.
Danny Ainge has to act in the best interests of the Boston Celtics. Danny needs to pull the trigger.