SI Now co-hosts Robin Lundberg and Ryan Asselta take a look at some NBA over/under win totals.
The blockbuster trade between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Boston Celtics involving point guards Kyrie Irving and Isaiah Thomas is official.
Officially official. No more hold ups. No more snags. Done deal.
The trade, announced on Aug. 22, was touch-and-go after the Cavs conducted a physical of Thomas and had concerns about the labrum tear in his right hip. Voiding the deal was a possibility. Renegotiating the deal was another option.
For the most part, the deal remains the same. The Cavs send Irving to the Celtics for Thomas, forward Jae Crowder, center Ante Zizic and Brooklyn’s 2018 first-round draft pick.
To complete the deal, the Celtics sent Cleveland a 2020 second-round via Miami, a person with direct knowledge of the deal told USA TODAY Sports late Wednesday night.
The person requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly until the new portion of the deal is announced.
It was a week’s worth of drama that jeopardized the deal. As the days passed and the Cavs’ front-office, led by new general manager Koby Altman, re-evaluated the deal, were the Cavs hoping for a better offer from another team? Did they want more from the Celtics in the deal?
David Fizdale: Grizzlies’ coach ‘won’t let up’ on Confederate statues
Cleveland secured an additional pick by dragging out the process, but that 2020 pick doesn’t alter the trade drastically today.
From the onset of the trade, the Cavaliers were determined to give Thomas’ hip a thorough evaluation. Thomas, an All-Star last season, injured his hip March 15 against the Minnesota Timberwolves, re-aggravated in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference semifinals against the Washington Wizards and the pain continued against the Cavs in the conference finals. Thomas missed the final three games of that series.
How close is Thomas to returning? How long will he be out? How did the answers to those questions impact Cleveland’s decision?
The situation between the Cavs and Celtics was an interesting test case in leverage – or better yet, lack of leverage from either side.
While the debate was centered around which team had more leverage, the truth is, neither team had enough leverage to alter the deal. Neither team could afford for the deal to fall apart.
Irving wanted out of Cleveland, and under a time constraint, the Cavs were patient, finding a deal that checked off priorities on their list.
In return, they got an All-Star point guard (when he’s healthy), a three-and-D wing, a promising young big and that coveted draft pick. Regardless of what LeBron James does after 2017-18, the Cavs needed that pick. They haven’t had a first-round pick since 2014, and the 2018 selection should be a lottery pick.
Unless a better deal came along for Cleveland – and that was unlikely – Boston knew it would be difficult for the Cavs to void the trade especially so close to training camp.
But that didn’t give the Celtics the advantage.
Had Cleveland voided the trade, it would’ve been problematic for Boston. Given Thomas’ health and fractured relationship between the two, Boston was not in position to have Thomas on the roster. That would’ve left the Celtics without a quality starting point guard for a good stretch in a season in which they believe they can topple Cleveland for the Eastern Conference championship.
Having acquired Irving to go alongside Gordon Hayward and Al Horford, the Celtics needed this trade to go through.
But that didn’t give the Cavaliers the advantage either because of the aforementioned reasons.
Both teams needed the deal to happen. And it did. Finally.
Gallery: Kyrie Irving through the years