Last night around 10 P.M. when my friends and I realized we cannot stream “Hardknocks” on HBO until Wednesday night, we thankfully had something else to keep us entertained; the NBA.
Ironically and unfortunately, my friends at St. Joseph’s University happened to be die-hard Boston sports fans and die-hard Isiah Thomas fans. When the news broke that Isiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic, and the precious 2018 Nets unprotected first round pick were headed to the Cavaliers for just Kyrie Irving they were furious.
Me being a Philadelphia fan and absolutely hating the Celtics with everything in my heart, grew confused because at first this seemed like a great trade for the Celtics. They went on to explain to me why they think the Cavaliers won the trade.
I am going to grade both team’s trades, explain why the Cavaliers won the trade, and what this means for the Sixers down the road.
Boston Celtics Trade Grade = B/possible B+
Even though I believe the Celtics lost this trade, they didn’t lose it by much. The negatives of this trade slightly outweigh the positives.
The big negative that stands out to me is that 2018 Nets unprotected pick that the Celtics had to give up.
A starting five of, Kyrie Irving, Jaylen Brown, Gordon Hayward, Marcus Morris and Al Horford can’t beat Cleveland or Golden state in 2017/2018. Projecting forward, a Celtics team with that lineup and the 2018 LA Lakers first round pick, and a mature Jayson Tatum, could become a championship team.
One problem- If the Lakers get the number one pick, which is very possible; the Sixers would keep the pick leaving Boston having to wait until 2019 for another chance at adding another franchise changing player.
I think this trade goes up to a B+ if they were to get the 2018 LA pick.
Cleveland Cavaliers Trade Grade: A
With rumors of Lebron getting ready to leave town, Cleveland must focus on one thing and one thing only: how to keep the King in Cleveland.
It is no secret Lebron has his problems with the Cavs front office and the Cavs’ do not have many young assets. Along with Kyrie, the Cavs youngest assets were Tristan Thompson, Iman Shumpert and I guess Kevin Love.
Now that Lebron is in the back end of his prime, he wants/needs to be on a team with young talent he can mesh with to beat the Warriors, like say …. The Philadelphia Sixers (Please God let Lebron become a Sixer). By gaining next years unprotected Nets first round pick the Cavaliers are pretty much guaranteed a top 3 pick. They also add a top 5 NBA point guard, and a good young role player in Jae Crowder for this season.
The other reason I believe this trade works out well for the Cavaliers is because Isiah Thomas is more of an unselfish player than Kyrie (stop dribbling!). Now Lebron can have more of the iso opportunities which he is famous for and Thomas/Crowder will be open for those kick out three attempts.
I also think this trade will help the Cavs’ chemistry. Isiah Thomas is good friends/former AAU teammates with Kevin Love, and Thomas/Crowder are both extremely great hustle players who will make everyone around them better.
What this means for the Sixers
The future of the Eastern conference could be determined by the 2018 draft lottery.
Its more than likely that the Lakers could be among one of the NBA's wost teams next season. If lightening strikes and the Lakers win the lottery, it would be a huge punch to the gut for Boston, and give the Sixers their third number 1 overall pick in a row.
I’m going out on a limb, but my gut says the Sixers receive the number one pick again in 2018. It will be hard to compete with a starting lineup of Fultz, Reddick, the possible 2018 first overall pick, Simmons, and Embiid. If that is the case, then this trade will be a big win for the 76ers.
The 2018 lottery will play a big role in this trade from a Sixer perspective, but until then, you can catch Kyrie in Philadelphia for the home opener vs the Celtics October 20th!