In retrospect, that's probably a better deal than the Celtics' package.
The Cavaliers took down the Warriors and won a championship in 2016, but the Irving trade left the team scrambling to retool the roster. While Irving is celebrating on the sidelines with his teammates during the Eastern Conference Finals tilt, the Cavaliers look like a team that are firmly on the ropes with the series shifting to Cleveland.
And, while rather vulgar and brazen, it's hard to argue with the unnamed player - especially given the way things played out on Tuesday night. But if the Irving and LeBron James duo appeared to be broken, there is a defense in there, a defense of the desire to sustain a version of these Cavs at all costs.What you are jealous of in Boston right now isn't that they have Irving. Thomas, meanwhile, only played 15 games for the Cavaliers before they shipped him to the Lakers for guard Jordan Clarkson and forward Larry Nance Jr. Irving, meanwhile, averaged over 25 points per game in the conference finals against the Celtics a year ago.
Whenever any of those three [Clarkson, Hood, Nance] have been on the floor in these playoffs, the Cavs have been outscored by 164 points.
"The Nets finished with the eighth-worst record in the league this year, which is the most likely place where the Cavs' pick will fall". "The pick that we gave them (the Brooklyn Nets' first-round pick in the 2018 NBA Draft) had the chance to be the No. 1 pick in the draft". It turned out to be No. 8, but who knows?
Ainge might be a thief, but right now, he's also a victor.
That trade unquestionably hurt the Cavaliers franchise in a big way. If that's not a bitter pill enough to swallow, it could just be one the pillars of an impending Celtics dynasty.
Even without Irving and Gordon Hayward in the lineup, his roster of young, tough and talented players is two wins away from the National Basketball Association finals.
As a result, Ainge has received glowing praise for his moves, even by key figures on the Cleveland side.
So, yeah. The trade was bad and the Cavaliers should feel bad.