Kyrie Irving is now officially a Celtic after the Cleveland Cavaliers agreed to send him to Boston for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic, and the Brooklyn Nets’ unprotected 2018 first-round pick. Before the deal became official, several reports revealed that the Cavaliers offered Irving to five Western Conference teams, including their rival, the Golden State Warriors.
Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated reported that Cavaliers’ general manager Koby Altman called the Warriors about a blockbuster trade. The deal would have sent Kyrie Irving to Golden State for Klay Thompson. The acquisition of Irving would dramatically improve the Warriors’ offense and make them more worthy to be called a super team.
However, the Warriors believe their current roster is enough to rule the league for years and see no need for improvements or changes. Irving may be the better scorer, but Thompson provides a boost on the Warriors’ defense. His effort on both ends of the floor in the recent NBA Finals helped the Warriors regain the championship title. The reported trade reached Klay Thompson, who immediately responded and called it “flattering.”
“It’s really cool,” Thompson said. “It shows the Warriors believe in me and other teams want me to be a part of their success, so I appreciate it.”
Aside from the Warriors, the Cavaliers also proposed a Kyrie Irving trade to other Western Conference teams, according to Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders. These include the Denver Nuggets, Phoenix Suns, Los Angeles Clippers, and the San Antonio Spurs. The Clippers and the Spurs would be an interesting destination for Irving, especially with their goal to challenge the Warriors for supremacy in the West.
The Clippers just lost Chris Paul in a blockbuster deal with the Houston Rockets while the Spurs are still unable to find the perfect replacement for Tony Parker. Based on the assets that the Cavaliers got from the Celtics, it’s easy to understand why they were unable to acquire Kyrie Irving. Meanwhile, the Nuggets and the Suns both had attractive assets that could have convinced Cleveland to trade Irving.
However, both teams refused to give the Cavs what they wanted. The Cavs-Celtics deal didn’t go as easy as most people think. As Kyler noted, Cleveland first asked Boston to include Jayson Tatum in the trade package, not Jae Crowder, and Boston disagreed. However, after series of negotiations, the Cavs and the Celtics came to an agreement.
Most people believe both teams won the deal. The Celtics got a superstar and an upgrade at point guard. The Cavaliers acquired a new point guard and a reliable scorer, a lockdown defender, a true center, and a potential lottery pick. Still, it’s interesting to visualize how the NBA would look like if Kyrie Irving were sent to the Western Conference.
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