Cavaliers, Headlines

Cavs trade Kyrie Irving to Boston for package including Isaiah Thomas and Nets 2018 draft pick

Update August 30, 10:40 p.m.: After eight days of additional talks, the deal looks to officially be official. With Isaiah Thomas’ status for the upcoming season in question due to his hip injury, the Cavs were seeking additional assets from the Celtics. Although they wanted another first-round pick added to the deal, they settled on a 2020 second-round pick (from Miami), per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

With Boston agreeing to send the additional pick to Cleveland, the deal can now go through. The two teams had until 10 a.m. ET Thursday to agree on a deal or else the trade would have been voided.

Update 7:40 p.m.: The Cleveland Cavaliers have officially traded point guard Kyrie Irving to the Boston Celtics for a package deal that includes All-Star guard Isaiah Thomas, forward Jae Crowder, Center Ante Zizic, and the Brooklyn Nets’ unprotected 2018 first-round draft pick. The Cavs and Celtics will open the 2017-18 NBA season on October 17.

The moment Kyrie Irving asked for a trade, many seemed to think that the Boston Celtics would be the perfect match for the Cleveland Cavaliers. Boston has the veteran talent and young players, who could potentially become stars, along with draft assets that are exactly what the Cavs are looking for in exchange for their star point guard. Cleveland wants a veteran that can make an immediate impact, a rookie or second-year player who has the potential to be a future star, and a handful of first round picks, something that only a few teams even have around the NBA, the Celtics being one of those teams.

What would make it even harder for the trade to occur is the fact that the Cavs and Celtics are the East’s two best teams heading into the 2017-18 season, one season after the two met in the Eastern Conference Finals. Boston is arguably the only team that has a shot at beating Cleveland in a seven-game series. Why would the Cavs trade their star point guard to a team that they will potentially go against in the Eastern Conference Finals next summer? Well, a month and one day after the trade request, it seems as though the wine and gold are engaged in serious trade talks with Boston that involve Irving going to the Celtics for point guard Isaiah Thomas, along with other players and draft picks, according to The Vertical’s Shams Charania and ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

While the details are still unfolding, it seems as though the Cavs may possibly acquire small forward Jae Crowder, center Ante Zizic, and multiple picks in the deal, along with Thomas. Keep in mind, Boston currently has the Brooklyn Nets’ unprotected first round pick and Los Angeles Lakers first rounder (1 and 6-30 protected) in 20181. The Nets are arguably the worst team in the NBA, so if that is the case, their pick will have the best chance to be the No. 1 pick in the 2018 draft.

Crowder isn’t a star, but he is a serviceable forward that would not only give the Cavs more depth and versatility in the frontcourt, but the veteran would be a nice addition to Cleveland’s bench unit as well. He can also defend a number of positions, which is always a plus.

Zizic, while many average fans may not have ever heard of him, was drafted with the 23rd-overall pick by the Celtics in 2016. He then spent a year over the pond in the EuroLeague, but signed with Boston this offseason. The 6-foot-11 big man dominated his way through the world’s second-best basketball league during his one year in the EuroLeague.

  1. According to RealGM. []

  • scripty

    Do it.

  • MartyDaVille

    I’ll defer to people who know a lot more about the NBA than I do — which is most people here — but my first inclination is to do this deal, as long as IT’s hip checks out 100% and then some on the physical. (Keeping in mind that Irving gets hurt a lot too.)

    As for trading with a conference rival, they have more reason to be nervous than we do.

  • RGB

    Any Snapgrams, or Instachats from LBJ?

  • Saggy

    What a trade!!!!! Told you Griffin wasn’t the X-factor you all thought he was. He NEVER brought back picks. Altman already has brought a possible top pick, if not top-5. wonderful trade.

  • JHop

    If you have any doubt about Lebron leaving after next season, this is a great deal. Isaiah Thomas is a similar (slightly worse, but not by a significant margin) player to Kyrie and Crowder is the versatile bench player the Cavs have needed for years.

    Plus, the Nets UNCONDITIONAL pick next year will most likely yield either Marvin Bagley or Michael Porter Jr – two stud prospects.

    Worst case – if Lebron leaves and the Cavs are unable to re-sign Thomas – the Cavs enter the 2018-2019 season with Love as a seasoned veteran and a superstar-in-waiting rookie.

  • woofersus

    Impossible to know how IT will translate to the Cavs and being part of a big 3 and how much Kyrie can still improve as he enters his prime, but the Cavs got what they needed most – flexibility.

    Between Thomas and Crowder, they got deeper and probably better on defense, and for at least one year, probably just as likely to compete for a championship. But they also got a movable contract and VERY valuable pick, which means they can make other deals or use the pick to get their next young stud next year, depending on what opportunities present themselves.

    If a star becomes available mid-season, this is the pick that could land him. If they want to move a contract like TT or Shump, Crowder and/or the pick makes it easier. And If it all falls apart, they can draft high next spring and start over with that guy plus Zizic and Osman. Finally the Cavs have options.

    And don’t sleep on Zizic, btw. He’s a serious prospect. Better than Osman at this point, I think.

  • nj0


  • Harv

    um, isn’t Isaiah Thomas in the last year of his contract and crowing about the impending “Brink’s truck” pulling up? The real key here is Brooklyn’s 2018 #1 pick. That can either be the future face of the franchise or parlayed into an elite player, depending on how this season goes and LeBron’s 2018 plans.

  • Saggy

    Cavs should take everything they just got and deal it to OKC for Russ.

  • Nah! I wanna see if Altman can draft as well as his trades.

  • Saggy

    that point is moot. If LeBron leaves, it doesn’t matter. If LeBron stays, it doesn’t matter.

    All that matters is 2017-2018. Thomas – if healthy – can make nearly as much of a difference as Kyrie. And at least his teammates will like him.

  • scripty

    Boston gave CLE great value on the dollar when otherwise, the market for Kyrie was giving us weak return. I guess BOS made okay but they really enabled their biggest rival this year. I guess they are thinking to 2018-19. Personally I’d like to see Kyrie screw them and go someplace as a UFA next summer.

    Celtics should have been a little more Machiavellian and let the Cavs fall apart but whom am I to complain. I love the trade. Yes things could go sideways but given the stagnant market this was a great outcome.

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  • scripty

    I’d guess the Nets pick will be 6-10 moreso than 1-5. There are some teams in East like ORL, ATL, IND all looking to be a bottom 3 team, and that doesnt include PHI either, or anybody in the west (maybe PHX?). Brooklyn has no reason to tank, and added some talent.

  • JNeids

    And lord knows the lotto gods (read: the league) aren’t just gonna hand us another #1.

  • scripty

    Him and Kevin Love were AAU buddies

  • jpftribe


  • BenRM

    It’s about as good a trade as the Cavs could hope for, right?

    An all-star in IT (although I am inclined to believe it was just one really good season).
    A good role player in Crowder, who can actually play defense no less.
    A European stiff, because there always has to be a stiff.
    And what will probably become a top 5 pick.

    Kyrie is better than all of these guys. And maybe better than the entire package. But when you don’t have any leverage and you get this haul, you done good.

  • Chris

    It’s not Paul George and Eric Bledsoe, but I am pleasantly surprised.

    Looking at the big picture for Boston… lose Thomas, Crowder, and Olynyk… add Irving, Hayward, Tatum.


  • BenRM

    George and Bledsoe would have been pretty good.

  • RGB

    This frees up a fist full of money, so you know what that means!
    When Wade and Melo get bought out, we now have some money to throw at them for at least one season of…


  • chrisdottcomm

    I don’t see the Cavs resigning Thomas under any circumstances. He’s a cash save and a filler for this year but being older, shorter, and even more expensive than Kyrie when he comes due will probably have the Cavs steer clear.

  • chrisdottcomm

    *to New Orleans for Anthony Davis.

  • chrisdottcomm

    This frees up no money.
    We are still over the tax line, just less over the tax line now.

  • woofersus

    Yeah, I think it would be unlikely. Unless his value ends up being a lot less than he expected next summer. Otherwise I imagine the Cavs are either using the pick on a PG of the future, or making deals for a longer term solution.

  • RGB

    Voodoo economics.
    $30m decrease in luxury tax money, is still money you can “spend”.
    Finance – The art of passing currency from hand to hand until it finally disappears. 😉

  • woofersus

    I can’t see them moving on from AD this season, but I do think the Cousins/Davis pairing is ill-conceived from a basketball perspective, and when the Pelicans struggle again, Boogie is back on the block.

  • chrisdottcomm

    Same, it was just a pipe dream.

  • chrisdottcomm

    I actually kinda recant my previous comment, a $5.8 TE did happen out of this… so there is that to spend.

  • Pat Leonard

    Right… can’t be used to take on Wade or Melo though, unfortunately. If either gets bought out, they’d have to sign with Cleveland for the minimum (could maybe use what is left in the taxpayer mid-level exception, but that’s not much at all). The Cavs can’t trade for Wade or Melo because both of their salaries are WAY over the $5.8M trade exception, and you can’t combine a trade exception with other players… has to be used on its own.

  • woofersus

    I know Zizic (the obligatory stiff) isn’t super likely to be a big contributor this year, and the Cavs probably pushed hard for both 1st round picks and ended up having to settle for him, but he was a guy who was coming to Boston this year and they were quite high on. He’s a very athletic and physical center who can defend NBA stretch bigs and has a knack for blocking shots. His offensive game is still mostly predicated on dunks/layups from well-timed cuts and transition opportunities (think Tristan Thompson) but in the last year he’s shown considerable improvement in his ability to put the ball on the floor and drive to the basket on his own. He also is showing dramatically better feel for passing the ball, which used to be the worst part of his game. He still has development to do, but I love the upside.

    Check out his highlights from last season playing against top Euro talent. (coached by Euro-Legend David Blatt, no less) Note that for a chunk of these highlights, he’s still 19 years old:

    And here he is in NBA summer league last month playing a little slower, but flashing the improved handles and passing chops:

  • Saggy

    Thomas, Wade, Melo, LeBron, Love/TT.

    That could potentially be the team in April. Unlikely, but not completely out of the realm.
    I still expect Melo to get a buyout – and I think if Wade was here, he’d come, too.

  • tigersbrowns2

    well , this should give Cavs fans more reason to hate the Celtics.