Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Celtics trade Isaiah Thomas to the Cavaliers for Kyrie Irving

On a quiet August night as the NBA offseason was slowly coming to an end, the Celtics made another huge splash by acquiring Kyrie Irving from the Cavaliers.

According to The Vertical, Danny Ainge has agreed to send Isaiah Thomas, forward Jae Crowder, center Ante Zizic and Brooklyn's 2018 unprotected first-round pick to Cleveland for the disgruntled All-Star guard.

The drama in Cleveland has now been somewhat resolved after Irving, 25, requested a trade last month when he met with Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert. Irving made it clear he wanted to be a focal point of a team and did not want to play alongside LeBron James any longer, league sources said.

Irving has three years and $60 million left on his contract, but he can opt out of the final year before the 2019-20 season.

Thomas, who is the final year of his current deal, worth $6.2 million, has spent his offseason recovering from a right hip injury that shut him down doing the last three games of Eastern Conferance Finals against the Cavaliers last spring. He led the Celtics to a 53-29 record (best in the East), averaging 28.9 points and 5.9 assists per game during the 2017-18 campaign, while finishing fifth in league MVP voting.

Thomas, 28, will become a free agent when his contract expires next summer and has stated that he's worthy of a max deal.

Irving was the No. 1 pick back in the 2011 Draft, while Thomas was the 60th (the last) on the same night.

This blockbuster trade comes seven-days after the NBA released their 2017-18 schedule, where both the Cavaliers and Celtics meet opening night of the regular season in Cleveland on October 17.

Joel Pavón

Photo used courtesy of the Associated Press

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