Former NBA superstar Kobe Bryant issued a challenge for Isaiah Thomas now that the latter has been traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Thomas was part of the trade deal that brought Kyrie Irving to the Boston Celtics.
Following the deal between the Cavs and Celtics, Kobe Bryant challenged Thomas on Instagram to “make the All-NBA First Team next season.” Playing for the Celtics last season, Thomas averaged 28.9 points and 5.9 assists with 46.3 percent shooting from the field and 37.9 percent from beyond the arc, according to Bleacher Report.
NBA experts believe the 28-year-old point guard could fill in the spot left by Irving. Jonathan Tjarks of The Ringer even said that Isaiah is a better version of Kyrie. He can score more often and more efficiently than Irving. He was Celtics’ No. 1 option but playing second to LeBron James in the Cavs could also help him with LBJ’s play making and defense. Furthermore, Isaiah will now be able to play alongside his longtime friend Kevin Love. Love sent Thomas a welcome text message just five minutes after he was informed of the deal.
Isaiah Thomas has been traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers alongside forward Jae Crowder, rookie center Ante Zizic, and a 2018 first-round draft pick from the Brooklyn Nets. In exchange, the Celtics acquired 25-year-old point guard Kyrie Irving.
Irving has reportedly grown unhappy with the Cavs, being overshadowed by LeBron James. He went to Cavs owner Dan Gilbert and requested to be traded to either the Minnesota Timberwolves, San Antonio Spurs, Miami Heat or New York Knicks. It took weeks to finally arrived with the deal with Celtics, as the Cavs tried to find someone equal or greater than Irving.
Meanwhile, Thomas playing with the Cavs is the biggest challenge in his NBA career yet, The Morning Star wrote. He was chosen last in the 2011 NBA draft and had to prove his worth, and now he has to do it again with the 2016 NBA champion team. Boston President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge showered Thomas much praise and said of informing him about the trade, “I’ll leave it to your own imaginations to realize how difficult that conversation might have been for me and Isaiah.”
Thomas wanted to stay with the Boston Celtics, but he said it’s a business and anything can happen.
“Boston’s has changed my career and changed my life. I would love to be here long-term and win championships here. But as you guys know, it’s a business and anything can happen. I know that. So I understand, but I would love to be here. This has been everything to me. This city, this organization…It’s been good.”
[Featured Image by Alex Brandon/AP Images]