In what would be the year’s biggest blockbuster deal if it happens, the Boston Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers are reportedly nearing a deal that would send Kyrie Irving to Boston with the Celts shipping Isaiah Thomas to the Cavs.
Irving has been reportedly attempting to get himself out of both Cleveland and LeBron James’ shadow since July. According to ESPN it was then during a meeting with Cavaliers’ owner Dan Gilbert that the team’s four-time All-Star point guard first requested a trade.
Boston appears poised to be the team that benefits from the 25-year-old Irving’s dissatisfaction in The Land. The Celtics would have to surrender their team leader in points per game from the past three seasons in Thomas to make the transaction happen though. In addition to surrendering the two-time All-Star, Boston is likely also going to be forced to part ways with forward Jae Crowder and his incredibly valuable below-market contract, along with the right to swap picks in 2018 NBA with the bottom feeding Brooklyn Nets. Former 2016 first round pick Ante Zizic and 2017 third overall pick Jason Tatum may also be part of Cleveland’s haul for Irving.
Despite having to give up so many assists, Boston would be getting a pretty team-friendly contract in Irving. The former first overall pick of the 2011 NBA Draft has two years and around $39 million remaining on a contract that includes a $21.3 million player option for the 2019-20 season. Meanwhile, Thomas’ deal will expire come the end of the upcoming 2017-2018 season and he will likely be in search of a max or near-max contract.