The Cleveland Cavaliers and Boston Celtics have finalized the trade that will send Kyrie Irving to Boston in return for Isaiah Thomas and others, according to a report from ESPN.
Along with Thomas, the Cavaliers will receive Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and Brooklyn’s 2018 first-round draft pick.
The Celtics have added a 2020 second-round pick to complete the deal, ESPN reported. The new pick acquired by the Cavs originally belonged to the Miami Heat.
Cleveland had been trying to obtain a second first-round pick after learning Thomas’ injured hip may keep him out longer than expected.
But according to ESPN, “Boston would budge no more.”
The Cavs assumed the Celtics would surrender nothing beyond a second-rounder all along, but held off agreeing to complete the trade until 12 hours remained before it could be vetoed, league sources told Amico Hoops.
“These talks had become a game of chicken, with both teams risking the consequences of walking away on a deal that could have short and long-term consequences for both franchises,” ESPN reported.
Irving, 25, was the No. 1 overall pick in 2o11 and made the All-Star team each season. He and the Cavs reached the Finals for three straight years, but Irving reportedly grew weary of playing alongside mega-star LeBron James.
“I really think Koby Altman made a tremendous trade here, given the circumstances,’ former Cavs general manager David Griffin said in an interview with NBA TV. “When you’re trying to win a championship, there is no in between. You’re all the way with me, or you’re all the way against me.
“And I think this is a situation where Kyrie made it clear he had a goal that might not have jived with Cleveland’s. They made a deal that, even in the absence of Isaiah Thomas, is a tremendous collection of assets. ”
Thomas, 28, could miss four to six months after bypassing hip surgery immediately after the injury occurred in a playoff game against the Cavs in May. He becomes an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season.
Altman replaced Griffin after Griffin and Cavs owner Dan Gilbert decided to part ways in June.
Meanwhile, Irving will join Gordon Hayward as two key faces on a Celtics team that finished with the No. 1 seed in the East and advanced to the conference finals. The Cavs then defeated the Celtics in five games.
“Boston made a trade to get a piece that really could be a key for them — a 25-year old player in his prime, an NBA champion, an Olympic champion,” Griffin said. “He is really just starting to scratch the surface of who he can be.”
Griffin predicted the Cavs would continue to make deals well into the season to “continue to try to build the team,” as James also playing in the final year of his contract.