The NBA world was stunned on Tuesday evening when the Cavaliers and Celtics agreed to a rare blockbuster deal between conference rivals, as Kyrie Irving was dealt to Boston in exchange for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, and Brooklyn’s 2018 first round pick. The deal ended the month-long saga for Cleveland after Irving’s trade request became public knowledge.
In it, they managed to bring in a strong offensive talent at point guard for the upcoming season to mitigate his loss, while also giving themselves a likely high lottery pick to begin a rebuild should LeBron James leave this summer. It was as good a trade as one could have expected for the Cavs, given what we’d heard they were being denied in other discussions, with both a quality short and long term piece coming over.
Focusing on the immediate, Thomas and James have two months to get on the same page with each other, along with the rest of the squad, before the regular season starts. One would expect James, who has been a near ubiquitous presence at gyms and pickup games in L.A. and New York this summer, to be quick to invite Thomas out to join him in runs so they can begin building their on-court chemistry. Off-court chemistry is important too, and that building process is expected to start as soon as this weekend when the two new teammates are expected to be at the Mayweather-McGregor fight.