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Cavaliers Trade Kyrie Irving to Celtics for Isaiah Thomas

The Cleveland Cavaliers and Boston Celtics have agreed on a trade that would send Kyrie Irving to Beantown in exchange for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and the Brooklyn Nets’ unprotected 2018 first-round draft pick, according to ESPN’s Jeff Goodman.

Irving asked the Cavs to trade him in late July, which raised eyebrows throughout the league considering Cleveland had recently been to three straight NBA Finals. But the point guard was tired of playing Robin to LeBron James’ Batman and decided a change of scenery where he could be the main focus on offense would suit him better.

Prior to the deal, BetOnline pegged the Celtics with a +1400 shot to land the four-time all-star. The Phoenix Suns, New York Knicks, San Antonio Spurs, Minnesota Timberwolves and Miami Heat all had better odds than Boston to get him. Cleveland was +400 to hoist the Larry O’Brien Trophy before the trade, while the Celtics were right behind them at +900.

A trade like this between the two best teams in a conference is almost unprecedented and will surely go down as one of the most surprising deals in league history. The Celtics were the East’s top seed last year while Cleveland came in at No. 2. The clubs eventually met in the Eastern Conference final where the wine and gold easily dispatched the C’s in five games before bowing out to the championship-winning Golden State Warriors.

Thomas’ ascent from the last pick in the 2011 NBA draft to one of the most pure scorers in the Association has been nothing short of spectacular, but it’s still a downgrade at the one spot for Cleveland. Thomas is an absolute beast but his small stature makes him a huge liability on defense, and he’ll be an unrestricted free agent after the upcoming campaign.

The hard-nosed plus defender Crowder is a nice fit for the Cavs, but the aforementioned Nets draft pick could turn out to be an extremely lucrative asset. Brooklyn is once again projected to be one of the worst teams in the league this year, so a top-three selection isn’t out of the question.

In what’s perhaps the best part of all of this, the Cavaliers and Celtics play each other in the first game of the 2017-18 season. Getcha popcorn ready.

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