Who got the better or the Kyrie-Isaiah trade?  You be the judge!

It finally went down.

Months after the NBA season ended, in the aftermath of Cleveland losing to Golden State, rumors had surfaced that Cavaliers’ superstars Kyrie Irving and LeBron James could not coexist.  Kyrie wanted out.  He had gone to Dan Gilbert and demanded a trade.

The news was shocking.  All was no longer good in paradise… as much as Cleveland, Ohio could ever be considered a paradise.  Kyrie and LeBron had played (well) together for three years, bringing the Cavaliers their first ever title.  At first, fans wondered what had gone wrong, hoping that it was fake news.

It wasn’t.

Tuesday afternoon, Kyrie found a new home: the Boston Celtics, Cleveland’s current and most hated Eastern Conference rival.  This was big news indeed.

In return for Irving, the Cavaliers received a handsome sum: Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic, a first round draft pick and fan favorite Isaiah Thomas.  Celtics fans were torn.  Sure, they were landing an amazing player but the price to get him.

When I first heard this trade might happen, I immediately thought Boston was getting the better bargain.  This was a deal they had to make.  With a disgruntled Kyrie looming, Cleveland had to make it as well.  But in the NBA, you always want to land the best player.  Boston is most assuredly getting that.  Despite the legacy Thomas leaves behind in Boston, I’m pretty sure they’ll be happy when Irving does what he does in Celtic green.  Assuming he does it.

When I asked friends at the bar, most were reluctant to agree with me.

“C’mon,” I’d retort, “It’s Kyrie Irving.  NBA Champion, Olympic champion, number one draft pick.”  I also reminded them Isaiah Thomas, despite his repeated fourth quarter heroics, is 5’9” on a well-stretched day.  It did no good.  None were as sold as I that the Celtics had improved.

Look, we won’t know until they meet once again in the Eastern Conference Finals which team got the better end of this deal.  Furthermore, them getting that far is not a foregone conclusion.  There are a few other teams that are looking to prove Cleveland’s reign of terror is over.  But if you had to put money on it, you’d have to bet these two teams would meet again for a trip to the Finals.  I don’t think the Irving-Isaiah swap necessarily means Boston beats Cleveland in that series… but they sure as shit narrowed the gap.

And there will be bad blood.

What team bests the other?  Will Kyrie and LeBron embrace when it’s all said and done?  How ugly was this break-up?  Will there be fisticuffs?  Suspensions?  Or worse yet… Twitter spats?  These two teams already don’t like each other.  This blockbuster trade just added fuel to the fire.

Everyone has an opinion on the matter.  Here’s where you come in.  I’m asking for your take and I’m hosting a little contest in honor of the trade that rocked our Tuesday.

In three hundred words or less (don’t worry, I won’t be counting), you can either e-mail me (at chump@sportschump.net) or leave it in the comments section below, I want your reasoning for who got the better end of this trade.  Be as detailed as you care to be.  I also want you to tell me who will win this series (if and) when they meet in the Eastern Conference Finals next year.

The reader who most closely predicts what will accurately happen will receive a fabulous SportsChump prize pack that is bound to possess something you really, really want.  Not only that but you’ll have proven that you know more about hoops than the rest of us… and isn’t that what’s really most important?

Doctor Milhouse: 

If I told you that you could start your day with a lightning rod point guard, who wanted out of the team, out of the city, out of the entire world (which he thinks is flat), and at the end of that same day, you can have (A) a two time All Star, (B) depth behind your franchise player, (C) a young prospect, and (D) an unprotected pick from a team that could well end up being in the top 10….exactly how much would you pay?

Koby Altman is a man who a month ago, didn’t even have a Wikipedia page. Now, he has engineered the trade of the year, and reaped a whirlwind of benefits in exchange for a want-away player that wants to prove he can run a team all on his own. Kyrie Irving will get his chance to show whether or not he can run the show and do it better than Lebron James. The Celtics have given up a large chunk of their roster, and their future, to see if he’s right. 

But therein lies the problem. James has shown repeatedly throughout his career that he can be very good on his own, but he needs a core around him to win a title. Now James has a new point guard to complement him, as well as someone to step in when he needs a breath that isn’t going to allow the lead to crumble. 

It’s possible Cleveland and Boston meet again in the Eastern Conference Finals. It could be a repeat of last year. But Kyrie is about to re-learn a lesson he apparently forgot. When he’s the star of the show, he can be MVP of the All Star Game….but when it comes to late May, he’ll be at home watching someone else on TV.

Boston won’t make the Eastern Conference Finals. They might not even make it out of the first round.

Bleed PRPL&GOLD

Cavs remain the team to beat…
*This year.

Whether or not they decide to “Back up the Brinks” for a 30 year old Tyrian Lannister remains to be seen. Boston obviously didn’t want to. So short term, Cavs stay on the top of the shit heap east as the sacrificial lamb for the mighty Warriors come June. I.T. aptly fills the Kyrie/Robin role to LBJ’s Batman enough for at least a season while Crowder not only takes defensive pressure and minutes from The King, but he also makes K-Love expendable. Not only can Jae hit the 3 without spraining his vagina every other month, but he’s on a bargain contract for a few more years.

Both I.T. and Crowder are tough, which compliments the blue-collar grit Tristan Thompson and Shumpert bring. Bank on D-Wade being 99% on the way to The Land following his buyout, so Cleveland should now actively be shopping Love

IMO….Especially if they have any hope of getting LBJ to stay beyond this year. I don’t know if Love alone is enough to pry Melo from The Big Apple, but they should be working the phones like those student loan assholes that rape my cell five times daily at minimum because if they lose LeBron? Call Colonel Trautman because it’s over Johnny.

They also have that draft pick to dangle if need be…Which is a gamble because #23 isn’t yet committing, but go hard or go home. If they wanna keep him, go for the right here, right now. All in.

If Cleveland fucks this up, which I fully expect they will, call Boston the WNBA. They got next.

With Kyrie, Hayward and Horford they have a solid big 3. They still have draft picks in their back pocket as well as two talented wings waiting to blossom in Jaylen Brown and Jason Tatum. Tatum in particular might end up making Golden Boy Gordon trade bait sooner rather than later. I think he’s going to be that good.

Marcus Smart isn’t Avery Bradley, but he’s a hard nosed defender and proven contributor. As much as it pains my P&G heart, I don’t foresee them getting anything but better.

This year, Cavs beat Celtics in the ECF again, but lose to the Bay City Rollers yet again…After that, who the hell knows? Like I said, too many variables.

I can only pray Dan Gilbert somehow nut-punches himself yet again, LBJ joins PG-13 in purple and gold next year and somehow beats the juggernaut up north and then beats Boston yet again. This time, in the Finals.

So let it be written, so let it be done.

15 thoughts on “Who got the better or the Kyrie-Isaiah trade?  You be the judge!

  1. Short take is that it’s a win-win for both teams.

    Long take forthcoming due to this pesky J-O-B thingy really cutting into my recreational time.

  2. Chris & Dr Millhouse

    These two teams will be there at the end of it all , meeting in the Eastern Conference Finals. However, I do feel the Celtics got the better end of this deal , as they have a much better core than the Cavaliers. At the same time , I can’t help but wonder if things should start to go wrong for Cleveland , will LBJ still be intent on really giving it his all for the franchise ? The roster of the Cavaliers even with the addition of Isiah Thomas is not as good as it appears to be , as beyond the new point guard there isn’t that much depth to this team .

  3. The true winner here is the choke-hacks at ESPN. Thanks to the fact they don’t think we can tell the difference between a pretty good football guy and a general whose been dead ten times longer than the Orlando Magic means nobody will get to enjoy a full day of the so-called NBA experts at the World Wide Bottom Feeder exposing how little they understand about how trades in the NBA really work.

  4. Why is everyone so concerned with Bo and Luke’s car? SMH

    The variables in this make for infinite fodder for the snowflakes at the Worldwhine Leader of Mickey Mouse Sports as well as internet trolls like us, so here goes nothing….

    Condfusedcious say:

    Cavs remain the team to beat…
    *This year.

    Whether or not they decide to “Back up the Brinks” for a 30 year old Tyrian Lannister remains to be seen. Boston obviously didn’t want to. So short term, Cavs stay on the top of the shit heap east as the sacrificial lamb for the mighty Warriors come June. I.T. aptly fills the Kyrie/Robin role to LBJ’s Batman enough for at least a season while Crowder not only takes defensive pressure and minutes from The King, but he also makes K-Love expendable. Not only can Jae hit the 3 without spraining his vagina every other month, but he’s on a bargain contract for a few more years.

    Both I.T. and Crowder are tough, which compliments the blue-collar grit Tristan Thompson and Shumpert bring. Bank on D-Wade being 99% on the way to The Land following his buyout, so Cleveland should now actively be shopping Love IMO….Especially if they have any hope of getting LBJ to stay beyond this year. I don’t know if Love alone is enough to pry Melo from The Big Apple, but they should be working the phones like those student loan assholes that rape my cell five times daily at minimum because if they lose LeBron? Call Colonel Trautman because it’s over Johnny.

    They also have that draft pick to dangle if need be…Which is a gamble because #23 isn’t yet committing, but go hard or go home. If they wanna keep him, go for the right here, right now. All in.

    If Cleveland fucks this up, which I fully expect they will, call Boston the WNBA. They got next.

    With Kyrie, Hayward and Horford they have a solid big 3. They still have draft picks in their back pocket as well as two talented wings waiting to blossom in Jaylen Brown and Jason Tatum. Tatum in particular might end up making Golden Boy Gordon trade bait sooner rather than later. I think he’s going to be that good.

    Marcus Smart isn’t Avery Bradley, but he’s a hard nosed defender and proven contributor. As much as it pains my P&G heart, I don’t foresee them getting anything but better.

    This year, Cavs beat Celtics in the ECF again, but lose to the Bay City Rollers yet again…After that, who the hell knows? Like I said, too many variables.

    I can only pray Dan Gilbert somehow nut-punches himself yet again, LBJ joins PG-13 in purple and gold next year and somehow beats the juggernaut up north and then beats Boston yet again. This time, in the Finals.

    So let it be written, so let it be done.

  5. Al…

    It’ll definitely make for interesting matchups between the two all season. I do like what Boston did to get better even though they had to part with the crowd’s favorite player.

    Cleveland is still probably better but Boston should do better when they meet in the playoffs than just winning one game.

    I wanna see what Cleveland is going to look like in 2018-19. I’m not sure the fans in Cleveland do though.

  6. Beautiful breakdown, Bleed. I’d expect nothing less from my fellow basketball jones. As you can see in the post above, I even highlighted you in purple.

    I’m not so sure they unload Love this season but I agree, D-Wade is on his way. His bags are packed. I even heard the younger players in Chicago can’t stand him so I’m sure the old farts in Cleveland will welcome him with open arms… and wheelchairs.

    I am looking forward to seeing what Crowder can do in that lineup.

    I also agree that CLE probably won’t part with that draft pick. I know they’re currently stockpiling ’em like the Browns but if Bron Bron goes bye bye, they’ll need that pick and more to salvage some sort of a future.

    Unless Gilbert just decides to sell to LeBron which I’m sure the good people of Cleveland wouldn’t mind much either.

  7. Isiah Thomas played well for the Celtics during the Playoffs and then as the off-season came into being, we found out he played injured during the last few games of the regular season as well as during Boston’s short playoff run. Cause for concern , given the type of injury (hip flexors) ? At the end of the day , Danny Ainge simply did what was best for the Celtics rather than taking the risk of having Isiah Thomas back on the roster and then having him undergo surgery. Cleveland must feel it was a risk worth taking and at the same time , I have to wonder the full details of Thomas’ injury and how serious it was said to be.

  8. You know, though the Celtics are likely in great position to be the next eastern conference powerhouse on paper, I can’t help but think how much they’ve given up defensively to bring in Hayward and Kyrie.

    -Avery Bradley, one of the best perimeter defenders in the league, if not THE best.
    Gone.

    -Jae Crowder, not All NBA Defensive Team, but widely known as a grinder that will get into guys both physically and mentally.
    History.

    -Kelly Olynyk, a 7′ paint protector that yanked K-Love’s shoulder out of the socket for Christ sake.
    Sayonara.

    -Isiaiah Thomas, though not a great defender, was as tough as they come mentally and served as the spearhead on offense as well as the heart and soul of the team. They all fed off his aggression and rallied around him much like A.I. did for Philly back in the day.
    Adios.

    Although they are unquestionably more talented offensively, I’m intrigued to see if they can still play with the same grind and intensity that has defined them for the last couple of years with so many key components to their recent success now playing elsewhere.

    Needless to say, my P&G bloodline hopes and prays that this addition by subtraction ends up with them falling flat on their slimy green faces.

  9. Al…

    Latest news is that they might veto the trade.

    Isaiah and his hip have yet to pass a physical.

    You think all this would have been done BEFORE signing on the dotted line.

    Hope Kyrie didn’t sell his house just yet.

  10. That’s Kobe Altman (GM of the Cavaliers) and Dan Gilbert for you . Two of the biggest clowns in the entire NBA. How the hell could they not have made sure Isiah Thomas passed a physical before moving ahead with a trade ? Gilbert as the owner of the Cavaliers has ran out Mike Brown on a whim and former GM David Griffin . I get the feeling in 2018 , LBJ will have bolted for the second time, seeking to add his legacy.

  11. I’m having a house guest this weekend , Robert Lee as Robert E Lee couldn’t make it due to his passing . What the f#ck were ESPN thinking when they reportedly forced the announcer out, from calling an upcoming game between University of Virginia and William & Mary ? LOL,LOL,LOL !!!!! As Don King so rightly said ” Only in America ” .
    What an absolute cluster f#%k !!!

  12. Yeah, Al. I mean, what were the Cavs thinking pulling the trigger on a trade like that knowing they had an injured player who hadn’t yet passed a physical?

    This makes ’em look bad… and convinces me that LeBron is as good as gone after next year if the offer is right

    And ESPN? We know they’re dense… and far too politically correct. I’m no longer surprised by anything the network does.

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