Well, the NBA has officially DOMINATED the news cycle in their offseason. The latest domino to fall is Kyrie Irving. Kyrie Irving goes to Boston for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and the oh so coveted 2018 Nets Pick. So breaking this trade down, Kyrie gets to leave his situation and go to a stable franchise. Win for Kyrie and Boston.
IT4 is in the last year of his contract, All Star PG, worse defender than Kyrie. He can score at a very similar rate, creates well and will fit well with LeBron as he can also play off the ball. Isaiah Thomas flat out can SCORE the ball. Not a bad trade off. If they want to build around IT4 next year they can sign him.
Jae Crowder gives LeBron some rest minutes as well as another solid defender for when/if Cleveland gets to Golden State in the Finals. He allows LeBron not to take as many bumps and bruises throughout the year. Also may be able to hide Kevin Love defensively in the Finals. He is on a very cheap contract and is a good fit in Cleveland.
Ante Zizic, although relatively unknown is not a scrub. He gave some good quality rim protection and not gaudy numbers in the Summer League but respectable. Standing 6’11” he gives Tristan Thompson a backup that can protect the rim without relying on Kevin Love to try to play defense.
The most important part of this trade is the 2018 Nets pick. If this wasn’t included, it would have had to be a piece in Jayson Tatum or Jaylen Brown. Assuming Danny Ainge didn’t want to part ways with those two stellar young players, the 2018 pick had to be on the table. Brooklyn is not going to be very good. Period.
A pretty good draft class at the top coming in especially with Marvin Bagley III reclassifying and Michael Porter Jr. headlining. If the balls bounce the right way, that gives Cleveland it’s next star and they can rebuild the same way Boston just did if they decide to resign IT4 in free agency. If they don’t resign him, and the balls bounce the right way you get a blue chip prospect to build for the future. If LeBron stays, you have the once in a generation player from 2003, and a chance to let him groom your new young stud. If he leaves, they can decide how they want to rebuild.
At the end of the day, both teams win this deal. Boston gets a championship caliber and proven point guard in Kyrie. Brad Stevens will run some insane stuff on offense with him, Gordon Hayward and Al Horford. They will be dangerous in the East. At the end of the year though, Cleveland will be back in the Finals. Isaiah Thomas and Kyrie are equally bad at defense. Could you imagine how untouchable they would be if they were even average defenders? Boston just included their “LeBron stopper” in Jae Crowder, so they still don’t have an answer for him.
Cavs in 6 next year in the Eastern Conference Finals.