Cavs and Celtics shocked the world last night after rumors started floating around the internet that they were working on a trade that involved Kyrie Irving and Isaiah Thomas. As soon as everyone could start to comprehend that possibility, BOOM, the trade was officially breaking news and the two all-star point guards had swapped teams. Along with Kyrie and IT being traded, the Celtics also gave the Cavs the strong small forward Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic, and a 2018 first-rounder from the Nets (obtained in the lopsided Paul Pierce/Kevin Garnett trade).
Let’s get down to it though. Who won the trade for the short-term, who won the trade in the long-term, and has either team made itself better enough to possibly beat the Golden State Warriors?
When I first heard the news, I thought “How could the Celtics be so dumb?” I figured this eventual trade involving Kyrie would make the Cavs not able to compete for a title, which would consequently guarantee LeBron leaving in 2018 for MY Los Angeles Lakers (more on that later) and ensure that the Celtics would win the East. I guess I was a little naïve thinking that the Cavs wouldn’t get a huge return for a 25-year old NBA Champion Kyrie Irving who is under contract for the next two years. I was just blinded by the possibility of LeBron being on a miserable team for a year. I was like a little kid in a candy store except it wasn’t candy I was desperate for…it was LeBron’s losses (again, we will talk about him later).
Cavs now have LeBron James, Isaiah Thomas, Kevin Love, Jae Crowder, Tristan Thompson, Derrick Rose, JR Smith, Kyle Korver, Iman Shumpert, and Ante Zizic. That’s a great squad. Thank God they got Jae Crowder in that deal because if they didn’t this team wouldn’t be able to play ANY defense.
Celtics have a completely different led squad this year. They now have Kyrie Irving, Gordon Hayward, Al Horford, Avery Bradley, Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart, and Marcus Morris. Celtics also have a great team. There’s really no doubt that Celtics and Cavs will again be the top two teams in the east.
So who is going to win this trade in the short-term? For the “short-term” I’ll just say who is going to go farther in the playoffs for the 2017-2018 season. For that I am going to say the Cleveland Cavaliers. This is another part of the reason I was perplexed on why the Celtics made this trade. The Celtics have seemingly got better from this trade. Kyrie Irving is a once-in-a-lifetime talent who is still only 25 years old (multiple Finals trips makes you seem way older than you are). With that being said, if the Cavs traded Kyrie to someone in the east, is there really any team that would have been able to compete with Celtics or Cavs for top of the east with an addition of Kyrie? I’d say no, since the rest of the East is trash. So why would the Celtics help their rivals this much?
The answer to that question is the answer to my question from earlier, who benefits in the long-term? To me, that is the Boston Celtics. For one, Isaiah Thomas’ contract is up in 2018. Can the Cavs sign both him and LeBron to long-term deals? I’m going out on a limb and saying definitely not. Kyrie on the other hand is under contract for 2017-2018 and 2018-2019, and I believe the Celtics could definitely re-sign him. So just from the Kyrie/IT standpoint, Celtics are definitely primed for a better long-term than the Cavs. It still seems like the Cavs are desperate to get themselves another ring with LeBron. It’s almost like they might know there’s a good chance he leaves next year…hmm. There were plenty of rumored trades, including the Cavs getting some good, young pieces from the Suns that would have given Cavs a chance to rebuild in a post-LeBron scenario. They’re obviously not thinking of building yet, acquiring the veteran Jae Crowder and 28 year-old Isaiah Thomas, who they probably won’t be able to sign. So if they can’t sign Isaiah Thomas, and they can’t sign LeBron, well then thankfully they got that Nets draft pick because they don’t have any other picks (they traded them all to build this team around LeBron).
Finally, can the Celtics or Cavs beat the Warriors in the Finals this year? Quick answer…NAH.
I think the Celtics improved, and I think the Cavs have improved. Does that matter against a fully healthy Warriors team? Not really. I won’t really go much into this other than the fact that Isaiah Thomas and Derrick Rose taking turns playing defense against Steph Curry in an NBA Finals is laughable.
LeBron to the Lakers…
So, it’s time for me to address this. LeBron has been rumored to come to my beloved Lakers in the past, but it’s never seemed as real as it is now. LeBron has an established home in Los Angeles and he is nearing his mid-30s, which would be a good time to start thinking about his post-career life. Los Angeles would be a great hub for anything he’s trying to do after his career whether it’s entertainment or other sports ventures. In regards to actual basketball, the Lakers have a very young team with Brandon Ingram and Lonzo Ball that could be helped by LeBron to accelerate their development to become champions. Lakers will also have enough cap space to also sign Paul George. Basically most signs point to L.A. being LeBron’s next home.
A lot of people have been asking me if I want LeBron on the Lakers? Yes and no. No because I’ve been hating on this guy forever. Literally since he was 18. It’s just automatic for me at this point. I only say yes because I love Lonzo, Ingram, and the rest of the Lakers and I want them to win championships…and I don’t know if you guys have noticed but having LeBron on your team gives you a good chance of winning. With that being said it’ll be hard for me to hate on LeBron when he’s throwing down beautiful full-court alley-oop passes from Zo in a beautiful yellow Lakers jersey. Man, that’d be amazing…oh shit…I think I’m warming up to this idea of LeBron James, the Los Angeles Laker.