The Cleveland Cavaliers and Boston Celtics resumed dialogue on Tuesday in regards to completing the Kyrie Irving trade, and according to a report by ESPN, the Cavs are no longer asking for Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown or any of the Celtics’ remaining high draft picks.
The Celtics and Cavaliers agreed on a deal last week that sent Irving to Boston in exchange for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and the Brooklyn Nets’ 2018 first-round pick.
But after Cleveland’s medical staff performed Thomas’ physical and found out his hip is not 100 percent, the Cavs’ brass reportedly told the Celtics they wanted further compensation in the trade or else they would void it.
Reports out of Boston immediately stated that Celtics president Danny Ainge would play hardball and not give up any of his young assets, and it appears that ploy has worked in Ainge’s favor.
Cleveland and Boston officials started to engage each other on a solution on Tuesday, league sources told ESPN. Cleveland is no longer seeking one of the Celtics’ top young players or significant draft picks, league sources said. The Cavaliers could be inclined to complete the deal for a late first-round pick or second-round considerations, league sources said.
ESPN also conducted an exclusive interview with Thomas, and the All-Star guard vows that he’ll be back this season and produce at the same level as last year despite what is being reported about his hip ailment.
“I am not damaged,” Thomas told ESPN. “I’ll be back and I’ll be the same player.
“There’s never been an indication that I wouldn’t be back, and there’s never been an indication that this is something messing up my career. Maybe I am not going to be back as soon this season as everyone wants me to be, but I’m going to be back, and I’m going to be the same player again. No doctor has told me anything different than that.
“I haven’t had one doctor tell me that this injury is going to hurt my career. Surgery was not the best option in this case. I aggravated it in March when Karl-Anthony Towns fell on me. I kept playing on it, and making it worse — until I couldn’t play anymore last season.”