And the Boston Celtics are on the board, making their first trade of the offseason by acquiring Marcus Thornton, Tyler Zeller, and a first-round pick in a three-team deal today.
The Cleveland Cavaliers sent Jarrett Jack to the Brooklyn Nets to clear cap-space for a max-offer for LeBron James. The Celtics helped facilitate the trade by picking up Thornton’s contract and Zeller’s big body, but the real steal for Boston is a 2016 first-round choice from Cleveland. The pick is protected, but if the Cavs can acquire James, or another big name in the next two years, it likely won’t matter.
Boston just gives up a second-round pick to Cleveland, so now the C’s will have three of the first 30 choices in the 2016 draft. In addition, Thornton’s contract, while expensive, is up after this season, so this is possibly another trade chip. He could make a difference in any deals that Boston is trying to make, especially as the trade deadline approaches. We can hope and pray Kevin Love is still looking to get out of Minnesota by the middle of Winter.
It will be great to see Cleveland now make a full push to get James back to his hometown to try and put the pieces back together from the decision. The only thing that may be better is seeing James go back to Miami and Cleveland having all of this cap space to overspend on re-signing Luol Deng and another free agent. Either way, Boston gets another pick and made another positive step in their rebuilding process.