On Tuesday morning, President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge received an email. The sender was: [email protected] You don’t become the President of Basketball Operations for the Boston Celtics by being a dummy. Knowing that it was a scam of some sort, he asked his secretary to dial up the IT department so that they could help him reconfigure the spam folder settings. He saw the light for the IT department flash three times on his state-of-the-art phone before Jane, his secretary, intercommed over that Art was on the line. “Hey Art. This is Danny.” “What can I do for you, sir?” See, Art, I received this email from a Nigerian prince this morning and I was wondering if you could fix the problem so I won’t receive these spam emails anymore.” “Sir, did you try shutting the computer on and off?” Just at that moment, Jane intercommed over to say that Koby Altman, general manager of the Cleveland Cavaliers, was on the line. “Hey Art. Hold on a sec.” “Hi Koby, what can I do for you?” “Well Danny, I have a problem. You see….” Koby kept talking and talking and talking, but what Danny didn’t know was that the hackers that Dan Gilbert hired over the Dark Web a week earlier figured out a way to hypnotize an individual via their computer screen. Not to get too technical, but it required a specific state-of-the-art phone that had two lines open at the exact time with an email displayed from a particular address emanating from the screen. Unbelievable you say? Then how else can you explain the trade that went down?!

Ok, I kid. Just wanted to have fun with things. Before I get too serious, though, why was the first thing to pop into my head when the trade was announced this song?

Hmmmm. Also, would Kyrie be able to sing this song with a straight face?

Alright, let’s get down to the nitty gritty.

It’s an interesting trade for sure and helps both teams out. I think Boston overpaid a bit, but that’s how the cookie crumbles sometimes.

The first thing I want to tackle is the “It would’ve been better to trade for Paul George or Jimmy Butler” thing. In a vacuum, I’d take those two players over Kyrie. Here’s the thing, though. Boston is super deep at the 2 and 3 positions: Marcus Smart, Jaylen Brown, Gordon Hayward, and Jayson Tatum. Plus, Paul George is going to Los Angeles. Ha! As a Lakers fan, I hope so, but he’s a rental anyway. It would be suboptimal to give up a ton of assets for a player that may or may not resign with you for the long term. As for Butler, he’s young (27 years old) and under contract for three more years. As I alluded to earlier, though, while he would be an upgrade for sure, would that be the best fit for how the team is constructed?

Second, I really had my doubts that the Celtics would pony up max money for IT. So, rather than let him walk or receive some meh offer, they actually got a player that is younger, signed for two more years, and is just as good, if not better! How many times in the history of trades in any sport has that happened? Exactly.

Now, the Celtics had to give up Jae Crowder AND the Brooklyn pick to make it work. This is where things get wonky and make me believe the story I made up in the intro. IT is an expiring contract. I guess Altman was like, there’s no guarantee IT signs with us, while you have Kyrie on lock for two years. Ok, I can dig that. Me thinks that Altman was trying to get Tatum. In that scenario, I don’t think the Brooklyn pick is included. So then Ainge pivoted to Brooklyn pick and Crowder. I like Crowder a lot, as he does it all on both ends of the court, but the Celtics have the depth and versatility to part with him. Losing the Brooklyn pick hurts, as that will probably be a Top 3 pick. With that said, the Celtics received another first round pick when they traded away the rights to Markelle Fultz. So, there’s a chance they could get be selecting #2-5 next year anyways. If not, then they get a 2019 1st.

Kyrie is a stud. We know he can perform on the biggest stage and he’s one of the best one-one-one players out there. Now, factor in the creativity of Brad Stevens and things get really juicy.

Anyways, I’m all for the trade from the Celtics perspective.

For the Cavs,

It really is the ideal situation for them. Kudos to Altman. He replaces Kyrie with a player that is just as good. What’s even better is that IT’s contract is up after this season. Everyone and their momma knows that LeBron is out, so what better way for one last hurrah! In addition, they pick up Crowder, a versatile piece that can shoot, play D, and play multiple positions. AAAAANNNNNDDDD……you have a chance to get another franchise player to rebuild with when LeBron and IT are gone. What what??!!!

This is one of those rare trades where both teams win. Man, I love the freaking NBA!

  1. Viz

    Viz says:

    About to record with Tehol about this trade on the podcast but let’s just say we disagree on this one. One big winner and one loser in the short term, possibly long term.

    • Son

      Son says:

      @Viz: Looking forward to hearing your perspective

  2. JPaul says:

    deymn….. I love IT, Crowder, Hayward combo… kyrie hayward horford? the next big 3? danny ainge is so risky gamber I hope its worth it… hehehe….

    • Son

      Son says:

      @JPaul: And they could get the #2-5 pick next year. I think they believe Jalen Brown can be the versatile defensive stopper on the squad

  3. JG says:

    one of the biggest Celts fan here. totally agree with most of your assessment. i think if you look at this like this:

    a) IT has a hip injury which is a key thing because he’s a guard and he needs all that mobility trying to weave through the defensive schemes in order to get offf the shots that seemingly only he can get to do because of his size

    b) he will be 29 when his contract is up and will be demanding a max contract. good chance Celts will not give him what he’s looking for (how many Brinks trucks?) and negotiations could end up being messy. this is speculation but IT has a very big chip on his shoulder (comes with guys of his size playing in the NBA I suppose) and i can see this getting blown out on the media in a basketball town such as Boston. could be a PR nightmare for Celts too. So there’s that.

    c) so let’s say even if the negotiations aren’t messy but instead of giving him 22-25M per yr for 5, they offer him what Lowry got. 30-33M/yr over 3 years. So now the Celts will have 90+M committed to 3 players (Hayward, AlHor) for 2018-19 season. What if LBJ plays another season in CLE after this season? 2 ageing guys in AlHor and IT and still no Finals.

    What this trade does for the Celts is delay that payroll dilemma by another year which allows them to survey the conference to see if it makes sense to go all in.

    So I see the trade as really being Kyrie for Crowder, Zizic and the Nets pick as I’m thinking Celts will have someone else pay the max for IT. Could they do a sign and trade? Maybe. but those are getting rare nowadays. With that POV, I think that was a no brainer trade.

    And that Nets pick. Nets/Chi/Atl/LAL. I will throw in IND in there coz i think McMillan is a shitty coach. Team might be good for fantasy players but that team in the NBA is gonna get whacked. So I’m not as confident that that pick is really going to have as high a chance to land one of the top 3 picks as I see the Nets potentially being the 4th or 5th worst team record wise.

    I’m not going in depth with the trade from the CLE pov. This bought them flexibility. BIG TIME.

    • Son

      Son says:

      @JG: Well said. I appreciate the Celtics perspective.

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