Kyrie Irving #2 of the Cleveland Cavaliers drives against Isaiah Thomas #4 of the Boston Celtics during the second quarter in the first round of the 2015 NBA Playoffs at TD Garden on April 23, 2015 in Boston, Massachusetts. Then, uncertainty surrounded the deal, as the Cavaliers were not happy with the physical status of Thomas, who was recovering from injury.
When Irving's request to be dealt was made public, Cleveland lost much of its leverage in negotiations with other teams, but with a bevy of assets at its disposal, Boston was able to make a compelling offer.
Isaiah Thomas hasn't even begun his fresh start to life in Cleveland, and it's already looking rocky.
The Boston Celtics will formally welcome the biggest prizes of the offseason when Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward join team managers on a stage Friday morning.
Being in Boston, Irving said, allows him to "be with a group of individuals that I can grow with".
With this being the a year ago of LeBron James' contract with the Cavaliers, Thomas' injury could be devastating for Cleveland's chances to earn a top-two seed in the Eastern Conference and get back to the NBA Finals. And you watch, you ask a lot of the great players, 'What does it take to be great?' I've had the unique opportunity to play with one of the greats and it was awesome. The Cavaliers face an uncertain future post 2018 due to LeBron James' impending free agency. He re-injured the hip during the Eastern Conference semifinals and eventually missed the final three games of the Eastern Conference finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers. To be able to share those moments with everyone in Cleveland and everyone in OH and doing something that was an unbelievable experience for all of us, I still can't believe just the feats that we reached in a six-year span.
So after the back-and-forth trade battle, the deal is finally done. Thomas is in the final year of his contract and could end up sharing playing time with newly signed Cavs guard Derrick Rose. It is not just that Irving is going to buy into the Celtics, the rest of the players will be ready to buy into Irving.
Kyrie will quickly see how he's received back in Cleveland on October 17 when his Celtics visit LeBron and the Cavs in their 2017-18 season opener. "They took a chance on a 19-year-old kid who was coming off of a stubbed right toe, of being in a very, very immature place at the time because what 19-year-old doesn't take their time in making decisions".