A “fluid situation” no more. While it appeared that Kyrie Irving could enter training camp as a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers, things — to borrow a phrase — escalated quickly. While the rest of the Eastern Time Zone was settling in for dinner, Koby Altman and the Cavs’ front office was busy working the phones, ultimately sending Irving to the Boston Celtics.
Did the NBA know? They booked the Celtics as the league’s opening night game against the Cavaliers, a game which may very well go down as one of the most-watched regular season contests of the year.
Did David Griffin know? Without Boston being on Irving’s initial trade list, the former GM let it slip that Irving would like to play for Brad Stevens.
Nevertheless, the Cavaliers will now enter the 2017-18 season with the Eastern Conference’s leading scorer from a season ago, a guy touted as a “LeBron Stopper”, and a draft pick that the Celtics wouldn’t move in deals for both Paul George or Jimmy Butler. But how will the new pieces fit? What are the implications beyond what takes place on the floor? Who the hell is Ante Zizic? All this and more gets answered below.