The Celtics, the team who just finished first in the Eastern Conference, added an All-Star forward in free agency, and drafted a gifted scorer third overall in this years draft have now added a 25-year-old point guard who is one of, if not the best scorers in the NBA today and yet I feel disappointed.
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) August 23, 2017
This trade definitely has positives and negatives. Let me start with a positive: I think Kyrie is an upgrade over Isaiah Thomas in terms of team building, not necessarily performance. I believe in Isaiah as much as anyone else, but from a team building standpoint this trade is a no brainer.
Isaiah is 29 going on 30, due for max money in a year, and he is coming off a hip injury that the Celtics have been very mum about, which to me indicates that they don’t consider him to truly be healthy. For his whole career Isaiah has defied odds but at some point does a 30 year old 5-foot-nine-inch guard coming off a scary hip injury still produce at a high level in the NBA? Im not so sure (then again that type of statement is what Isaiah constantly defies).
— WEEI (@WEEI) August 23, 2017
Kyrie on the other hand is still only 25 years old, he is under contract for two more seasons at a good price, and he is a bona fide stud scorer and a clutch player. I wouldn’t say Kyrie is an upgrade in the present, but in the future he certainly puts the team in a better spot salary and team building wise.
That’s the good news, Kyrie gives the team much better flexibility going forward and there is no drop in production. Unfortunately, there is bad news.
I cannot understand why Boston decided to give up the 2018 Brooklyn pick. I understand they are getting an elite talent and maybe just IT, Crowder, Zizic wasn’t enough, but the Brooklyn pick?
Cleveland had no leverage whatsoever. Kyrie wanted out and no team had the assets to match what the Celtics could offer. My only thought is maybe Ainge didn’t want a repeat of the Paul George situation where he refuses to give up a certain piece and then the GM feels pressure and pulls the trigger for a lesser deal.
I still trust Danny Ainge but trading that pick is a bad move and I don’t believe anything would convince me to think other wise.
The hardest part of this trade is the emotional aspect. It wasn’t long ago that the Celtics swung a few deals in the 2014-2015 season to pick up Isaiah Thomas and Jae Crowder for pennies on the dollar.
Those two came in and established the winning culture for the team. Crowder had a no nonsense attitude and wasn’t afraid to ask Brad Stevens where this team was headed. He wanted to win and he made sure everyone around him knew it.
There were times this postseason when Crowder was frustrating with his poor shooting and lack of attacking the rim. However, that stretch cannot overshadow what he meant to Boston.
He took a team friendly deal, always guarded the opposing teams best wing, and he just put his head down and worked every night. I urge the fans to not remember him for getting upset over the Hayward cheers, that was a completely normal reaction. Remember him for being the grinder that he was and one of the players who propelled the turnaround we’ve had these last few years in Boston.
As for Isaiah, this hurts. In two and a half seasons in Boston he gave everything and more to this city. Playing through the death of his sister, losing a tooth, dropping 53 on Washington, and gutting it out through the hip injury for as long as he possibly could. That is just a small list, I could go on and on about what he did.
Thomas was one of the most popular Celtics in a long time and it is going to sting for a while that he is gone. It is not a bold statement to say he has the biggest heart in the NBA because he certainly does.
He is heading to the enemy, Cleveland, and still I wish him nothing but the best moving forward. If he comes into the Garden next season and drops 50 points on the Celtics then so be it. Isaiah was a warrior for this city and he gave us all that he had.
This trade is going to have consequences and implications for years to come. Does this put Boston over Cleveland? Will Lebron like playing with Isaiah so much he stays? Does Kyrie stay and thrive in Boston? And does any of this make the Warriors worried?
Time will tell what this trade means. I think the Celtics helped themselves now but may have hurt themselves come draft night next June. We will just have to wait and see.
If you need to get excited about Kyrie in Boston this should do the trick.
Thank you Jae and Isaiah. The Celtics would not have rebuilt as fast and efficiently as they did without those two players. Boston thanks you and and you will always be Celtics.