The Cavaliers Comprehensively Won The Kyrie-Isaiah Trade

Photo Credit: Bleacher Report

The Cavaliers Comprehensively Won The Kyrie-Isaiah Trade


As always, after a blockbuster deal there are thoughts and feelings people have which dictate which side they think won the deal. With that being said, let’s fully take apart and dissect this trade.

This is one of the more interesting trades in recent memory, as there are numerous factors to consider. In short, the Cavaliers won this trade on face value. But let’s see why it’s a complicated conclusion to come to.



First and foremost, the Celtics gave up way too much for Kyrie Irving by himself. They traded their best player (who finished 5th in MVP voting and led the league in 4th quarter scoring last season), as well as one of the premier “3&D” players in the league in Jae Crowder, your projected backup Center Ante Zizic and what will most likely end up as a top 5 pick in next seasons NBA Draft. Yes you have received a young scoring machine in Irving, but you already had an offensively gifted point guard who was the heart and soul of your franchise averaging nearly 30 points per game. The Celtics gave away far too much to bring Irving to Boston.



If things go to plan, the Cavs may have pulled off the smartest move in franchise history. They have not only maximized what they got for Irving, but perhaps avoided losing him for nothing and gone a long way into convincing LeBron to stay long term with this blockbuster trade. Irving could have walked for nothing when his contract finished in the near future, but after learning he wanted out now, they’ve done an excellent job in securing everything they can for him, as well as putting pieces around LeBron to win now but also keeping one eye on the future perhaps without LeBron.

The Cavs roster now looks very different, and despite losing a special talent in Irving, they may have in fact improved overall. As Irving’s trade was pending people were wondering where they would find a player to replace his scoring punch, they’ve successfully done that. With the acquisition of Jae Crowder as well as Jeff Green this offseason, still holding onto Richard Jefferson and perhaps looking at bringing Derrick Williams back, the Cavs versatility especially defensively on the wings looks amazing.

Derrick Rose will now slide back to run the second unit as the Cavaliers have also addressed their backup point guard issues.



It’s not all bad for the Celtics by any stretch. I mean, they have acquired a flat out scoring beast and the ripple effect of the trade will actually help their future. Due to them moving Thomas and Crowder, it will now force their young talent to take on a larger role and it will speed up their development. Marcus Smart, Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum will see more minutes and this can only help the Celtics moving forward.

As everyone knows the Celtics have brought in Marcus Morris and Gordon Hayward, which are really nice pieces, but it’s not enough for right now. They may have improved offensively, but defensively they’ve gotten significantly worse. Also, Thomas and Hayward fit better than Irving and Hayward. It will be interesting to see how the ball is shared between the pair of them as Isiah is a more willing passer than Kyrie.

They’ve now lost Isiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Kelly Olynk, Avery Bradley and Amir Johnson in the same offseason, not only have they lost integral defensive cornerstones of the roster, but also vital role players who fit the system and were a big reason why they experienced the success they did.



This is perhaps an underrated aspect of this whole trade. You see, Thomas will be unrestricted free agent come next summer. This means he could easily walk with the Cavaliers receiving nothing in return. Thomas is seeking a max deal and the Cavs may be reluctant to give him one given the circumstances, but the risk is worth it. LeBron may also leave next season but they’ve remained in “win now mode” and have a chance to compete for another championship. It may also play a part in LeBron deciding to stay in Cleveland as he can see the new GM is willing to surround him with the necessary pieces to continue to challenge for titles. This could in turn keep all the big time players on the roster.

The contract situation may be tricky for the Cavs, but it might be potentially even worse for the Celtics. Due to Irving still being under contract, he could walk when his deal finishes in 2 years and leave the Celtics with nothing as well. The Celtics would be worse off in comparison as they’ve given away so much to accommodate Irving and a big piece of their future also.



In my opinion, this is the most important part of the trade for the Cavaliers, and a big reason why I gave them the edge on this trade. It was reported the Cavs were after a young star or draft pick to solidify their future and they have done so by securing the Celtics’ (Brooklyn’s pick) for next seasons NBA Draft. This is the cherry on the top of the cake for the Cavs. It can potentially be a big trading asset or a ticket to a young star to either replace LeBron or learn next to him. The pick has also taken away from the Celtics’ ability to continue their accumulation of top prospects which could in turn force them to miss out on a potential star. It was a masterful stroke by the Cavs to secure a top draft pick in this deal as they’ve covered all their bases now.



  • With the trade, the Cavs have reduced their luxury tax by $29.1 Million.
  • Cavs play Celtics on opening night.
  • The Celtics organization were fearful Isiah Thomas’ hip injury is more significant than they first thought, Danny Ainge has since stated Thomas will return to full health but may miss the start of the season.

All in all I think the Cavs won this trade for right now. Essentially, Irving and Thomas are the same player, both scoring machines and both poor defensively.

Despite the Cavs dealing a superstar talent, they may have in fact improved their roster overall. Defensively they look extremely versatile and have given themselves options for their future.

Both teams may well benefit from this, but I give the edge to the Cavs in this blockbuster deal.

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