Cavs grab Irving trade prize

23 August 2017 05:41:52 EST

The Cleveland Cavaliers and the Boston Celtics sealed a stunning trade which moved Kyrie Irving to Boston in return for three players and the Brooklyn Nets 2018 #1 pick.

Going the other direction were Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder and Ante Zizic in an amazing deal, given that the Cavaliers had virtually no leverage and the entire league knew that Irving had requested a trade.

It is, quite simply, an astonishing get by rookie general manager Koby Altman, who simultaneously makes Cleveland better this upcoming season, gives the club flexibility at the end of the campaign should LeBron James opt out of his contract and provides the unprotected Brooklyn Nets pick, which may well be the most valuable piece of all.

Michael Porter of Missouri and Duke's Marvin Bagley highlight the 2018 NBA Draft, but DeAndre Ayton of Arizona, Robert Williams of Texas A & M, Miles Bridges of Michigan State, Mohamed Bamba of Texas and European prospect Luka Doncic currently project as quality players.

That gives the Cavaliers the flexibility of starting a complete rebuild if needed should LeBron leave, or using the pick to bring in another quality veteran for another run at the Golden State Warriors.

For the Celtics, this seems to have been a decision based around age and cap flexibility along with Irving's undoubted talent.

Thomas is 28 and looking for a max contract as a free agent at the end of the year, while Irving is three years younger and much more attractive as a long-term investment.

The Nets pick really hurts and this is a trade that will be debated, especially if Porter or Bagley end up in Cleveland.

The Cavaliers are 13/2 to win the NBA Championship, with the Warriors 5/9 and the Celtics 10/1.

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