On Tuesday, Danny Ainge pulled the trigger on a blockbuster deal for the ages.
The Boston Celtics acquired the 2011 No. 1 pick Kyrie Irving in exchange for their own star Isaiah Thomas, who happened to be the 60th, or last, pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and their 2018 Brooklyn Nets first-round pick.
Head coach Brad Stevens undoubtedly has his work cut out for him as two brand new stars will join the team and be expected to win a lot of games together under their new roof.
While my optimism is high, giving up a great defender and hustle player in Crowder and one of the Celtics bigs when the selection is already sparse could prove to be costly.
Rebounding, shot blocking and a presence in the paint has been an issue year after year, which a player like Zizic may have been able to help turn around. Releasing the Nets pick, who are consistently left out of the playoff picture may also be regrettable with another promising draft class on deck.
Being forced to watch the beloved Isaiah Thomas compete against Boston next year and viewing the friendship built with LeBron James will inevitably grow stronger than it is now will without a double be burdensome for die-hard C’s fans.
Coming off a career-year, it feels like the king of the fourth was just beginning to truly blossom, and watching him be masterful in anything but a green and white jersey is disheartening to say the least.
It will be exhilarating to see how the trio of Irving, Gordon Hayward and Al Horford will gel. Hayward and Irving are both newcomers to Beantown while Horford will be entering his second year.
Admittedly, it is disheartening to see players fans have come to love suit up for a rival, but on the other hand good times are ahead. With Hayward’s incredible shooting ability, and the attention Irving commands when driving into the paint paired with his finishing ability, defenses may be left helpless.
Overall, there is still plenty of question marks looming over how the new look will operate in the absence of the previous leadership. Horford will be the only starter returning to a team that was the top seed in the Eastern Conference. Only four remain from 2016-17, so chemistry certainly needs to be built.
We saw James, Chris Bosh and Dwayne Wade struggle when they first came together with the Miami Heat.
Irving also had his wishes fulfilled in exiting the shadow of James and becoming the focal point for a team, without relinquishing hopes of contending for a championship. On Oct. 17, expect a dramatic battle for the ages as these two new-looking titans duke it out.