Boston Celtics: An in-depth look at the Kyrie Irving trade

CLEVELAND, OH - JUNE 09: Kyrie Irving
CLEVELAND, OH - JUNE 09: Kyrie Irving /

Danny Ainge shocks the basketball world with yet another blockbuster deal, acquiring All-Star Point Guard, Kyrie Irving in exchange for Isaiah Thomas and more.

Just as many thought the Boston Celtics were done acquiring premier talent this offseason, President of basketball operations Danny Ainge proved us wrong with yet another blockbuster acquisition in trading for Cavaliers point guard, Kyrie Irving.

The Celtics are sending Isaiah Thomas along with small forward, Jae Crowder, rookie center Ante Zizic, and their 2018 1st round draft selection from the Brooklyn Nets all to Cleveland.  This is perhaps the biggest trade of this NBA offseason.

Contract Breakdowns

Kyrie Irving (Celtics)

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  • 2017-18 season- $18,868,625 M
  • 2018-19 season- $20,099,188 M
  • 2019-20 season- $21,329,750 M
  • 2020: Unrestricted Free Agent

Isaiah Thomas (Cavaliers)

  • 2017-18: $6,261,395 M
  • 2018: Unrestricted Free Agent

Jae Crowder (Cavaliers)

  • 2017-18: $6,796,117 M
  • 2018-19: $7,305,825 M
  • 2019-20: $7,815,533 M
  • 2020: Unrestricted Free Agent

Ante Zizic (Cavaliers)

  • 2017-18: $1,645,200 M
  • 2018-19: $1,952,760 M
  • 2019-20: $2,281,800 M
  • 2020-21: $3,872,215 M
  • 2021-22: $5,634,072 M
  • 2022: Restricted Free Agent


To begin, the Celtics are acquiring arguably the best point guard the Easter Conference has to offer in Kyrie Irving who is just 25 years of age.

In a dominant Cleveland Cavaliers team which includes LeBron James and Kevin Love, Irving averaged 25.2 points per game with 5.8 assist while shooting 40 percent from the three and 47 percent from the field.

With reports heating up in LeBron James making another departure from Cleveland, it’s very likely that Celtics will have 2 seasons of a LeBron-less Eastern Conference.

With noteworthy talent such as Paul George (Thunder), Jimmy Butler (Timberwolves), and Brook Lopez (Lakers) heading West, the East has most certainly diluted in talent this off season.

This opens up a solid window which Danny is may very well preparing for in order to get the Celtics back to an NBA Finals appearance.

Young Boston Celtics core

The Celtics also maintain their young core with prospects such as Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown reaming in Celtic green.

(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

Various reports stated that the Cavaliers were unwilling to comply and complete an Irving deal unless Jayson Tatum was involved.

However based on Tatum’s Summer League performance in which he averaged 17.7 points with 8.0 rebounds, it’s a good sign that the 19-year old is still a member of the Boston Celtics.


Now with all the praise and noteworthy positvity sparking up within this trade, there’s also another side to consider if you are the Celtics.

This side being the very likely factor that kept a Paul George deal to Boston from taking place.

This factor being commitment.

Related Story: Boston Celtics lineup and rotation following the Irving trade

Now while Irving hasn’t hinted nor has he given any indication in signing an extension when hen hits free agency, this is something to keep a sharp eye on if you’re Danny Ainge and the Celtics.

Isaiah Thomas on the other hand, hinted desire to remain a Boston Celtic with his various viral social media postings and positive remarks on Boston.

Yet knowing the trade history under Ainge’s belt with Boston, he must have some level of confidence in convincing Irving to sign long term in the City of Champions.

Brooklyn Pick

The Boston Celtics have shipped their 2018 1st round pick via the Brooklyn Nets in the deal.

Despite Brooklyn’s 20 win season and last place finish in 2017, they have made some notable improvement to their roster.

With their off season acquisitions of point guard, D’Angelo Russell and Center, Timofey Mosgov via the Lakers, one can rightfully assume that Brooklyn will not repeat a 20-win season, thus impacting the placement of the pick.

While these aren’t significant, franchise transforming moves, they are certainly improvements for a last place team.

So there is a possibility that Danny Ainge essentially sent off a prospect such as Michael Porter (Missouri), Marvin Bagley (Duke), or DeAndre Ayton (Arizona) to the Cavs.

My take

I am satisfied with the deal for the simple fact that it reflects Boston’s direction as an organization and where they intend to be in the short term.

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This off season as a whole shows not just Celtics fans, but the entire league that Boston’s ready to contend, not just for 1st place in the East or a Conference Finals appearance, but for an NBA Title.

While it hurts to see Isaiah Thomas leave and think about where the ping pong balls will land that pick for next summer, it’s good to see that Danny Ainge has answered the prayers of Celtics fans and delivered this off season.

With the selection of Jayson Tatum, signing of Gordon Hayward, and now acquisition of Kyrie Irving, the 2017-18 Celtics are a team to look out for to say the least.

2017 Celtics offseason

This has been perhaps the most notable Boston Celtics off season in the Danny Ainge era since the assembly of the infamous “Big 3” with Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Ray Allen.

A team which showcased it’s talent in a pair of NBA Final appearances, winning it in 2008 to raise banner number 17 among the TD Garden rafters.

Next: Boston Celtics: I think I’m a little too excited to see Kyrie in Boston

It will be a strange but certainly anticipating season opener, to say the least when Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward lead the charge along the tunnel in Celtic green on November 17th in Cleveland.

"“Isaiah embodied what it meant to be a Celtic. He captured fans hearts not only with his spirit, but his personality”, Danny Ainge stated."