In part one we looked at the pros and cons of this trade from the Cleveland side. This time let’s look at it from Boston’s point of view. Boston ended up getting Kyrie which is arguably a top ten player in the league. However, Boston gave up some great talent which might hurt them down the road.
Losing Isaiah Thomas and Jae Crowder was really the only way they would end up with Kyrie however it might not have been worth it in the long run because we have seen Kyrie be the face of the franchise in Cleveland before Lebron came back and that was not pretty at all. Now I know that some will say “he was still a rookie and young” and other will say “he has matured since then” which is all true points but that is a big risk. Let’s remember when people play with Lebron they seem to get better we seen this with old D-Wade and even guys like JR Smith.
Kyrie has two years left on his deal which is good for Boston. If they can stay as the biggest threat to the Cavs in the Eastern Conference, then there is a better chance Kyrie will stay in Boston and they will have their man (providing he stays as good as he was with Lebron). However, Kyrie did not put Boston on his list of desirable teams he wants to play for which could be a concern because if he leaves after two seasons then Boston will have given up the farm for nothing in return. Another concern is how will he fit into Brad Stevens system in Boston, which is clearly different then whatever Coach Lebron decides to run.
The positive thing is Kyrie is an everyday player and has come up clutch in some big moments. The issue is Kyrie does not know what he wants, this is proven because otherwise he would have stayed in Cleveland for one more year and waited to see if Lebron left. If Lebron does leave Kyrie would have still had a lot of talent surrounding him and he would have been Cleveland’s guy. If Kyrie fits in the system and plays well with Gordon Hayward, then the Cavs Celtics will be the biggest rivalry in the east for a very long time. Kyrie has shaped up to become a terrific player, and could help Boston in a huge way and may be the piece they need to become the best in the east. Especially if Lebron leaves Cleveland and goes to the Western Conference and joins the Lakers like it is rumored.
I will admit that when I first heard about the blockbuster trade between Cleveland and Boston I was not in favor of it. However, as I began to dwell on it more I have determined it is good for both teams (maybe). The reason I say maybe is because it seems more like a spider web of what if’s then having a clear winner.
First let’s start with Cleveland. The Cavs loved Kyrie and rightfully so, that guy was supposed to be the future after Lebron and he made in my opinion hands down the most clutch shot in Cavs history against Golden State in the 2016 finals game 7. Let alone his defense was lockdown, no doubt losing him is hard on the Cavs and their fans.
The Cavs got Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and the Nets’ 2018 unprotected first-round pick. Now to start with the positives, Isaiah Thomas is a star in this league and has even in talk for MVP last year. Furthermore, Thomas has proven he can play with a heavy heart and still preform, he proved this last year in the playoffs after the death of his sister. Thomas has also proven he can be the number one guy which is great for Cleveland consider all the rumors that Lebron may leave after this year.
Jae Crowder and Ante Zizic are both nice big guys to have on a team that seems is ran by all guards. Crowder can not only help in the rebound department but the dude can also shoot well for a guy of his size. The fact that the Cavs get the Nets #1 pick in 2018 is a plus because that is very likely to end up being a top 5 pick in the draft.
Now this is where it gets messy for the Cavs. Thomas injured his hip last season and decided against having surgery on it. This could set up problems because if Thomas goes down then ultimately the Cavs gave up Kyrie for Jae Crowder, which is not great if you are a Cavs fan. Furthermore, Thomas wants to be a max contract player which is a double-edged sword for the Cavs, if he stays healthy and Lebron leaves then the Cavs still have a young future player who has proven he can be a number one player on the team. However, if Lebron stays who knows if Thomas will take a pay cut. Thomas defense is also nowhere near the caliber of Kyrie which is an issue when playing a team like Golden State in the finals let alone the issue of the size of Thomas against a giant Golden State team.
As the 2017 NBA finals are in full swing many fans debate if the match up is good for the game. Now some fans say no because in the last three years the teams have played each other every game has pretty much been a blowout except for game 7 of the 2016 finals. For the last couple years, everybody expected these two teams to play each other in the finals and that is what many fans do not like. NBA fans say that having these two dominate teams makes for a very boring 82 game season because everyone knows these two teams will duke it out in the finals.
Having two dominate teams like this is a good thing though. NBA fans and sports fans always want the two best teams to play each other for the championships and every sports fan wants rivalries. Furthermore, it is exciting that these two teams have a lot of talent on them which is what people want to watch, fans want to watch superstars not a bunch of tier 2 caliber players. Anytime you get a matchup of not only the top teams but the top stars it will bring in the ratings and more people will watch. The 2017 NBA finals will feature 11 named all stars. Which likely means not many people would tune in to watch a Utah Jazz vs Toronto Raptors game, just because the talent level is nowhere near the Warriors or Cavs.
It is like the NCAA tournament, not nearly as many people watch the regular season games if at all compared to when March Madness starts up, and that is one of the biggest things in sports. Millions and Millions of brackets are filled out each year and people only watch for a couple weeks knowing the chances are good that a big-name school will likely win it all.
The Cavaliers and Warriors do not hurt basketball just like the Lakers and Celtics did not hurt basketball when Magic and Bird matched up against each other. It brings fans closer to the game because of the big rivalry and the big number of stars. These two teams make people talk about the game with their friends or on social media. These two teams are one of the best match ups in NBA history.
July 8th,2010 was one of the most memorable times in sports free agency history. This date was when Lebron informed the world on ESPN on his decision to go play in Miami. Lebron got a lot of heat for this (no pun intended), people were so disgusted the way he left and the fact that he left his hometown. Lebron went on to win 2 finals in 4 years with Miami and then made the decision to come back home to Cleveland and win a title for the Cavaliers in 2016 and it appears all was forgiven.
Fast forward to July 2016 when Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder became a free agent an instead of signing a new deal with the Thunder, he signs with the team that came back from a 3-1 deficit in the Western Conference Finals in the 2015- 2016 season, the Golden State Warriors. This move enraged many people for numerous reasons one being that KD is joining the enemy and the most powerful team in the NBA. Another reason being that OKC felt like they were so close to reaching the Finals again and now they lost a key piece in their plan.
The question now is if KD was to win one or more championships with the Warriors and then return to OKC would he be forgiven as Lebron was? To be honest, the answer is no, no he would not. The reason being because OKC has already moved on, they have Russel Westbrook who has become the team’s knight in shiny armor. In the year without KD the Thunder made the postseason and was still one of the top tier teams in the west. The Cavaliers had a different story, the first year without Lebron the Cavaliers were the worst team in the league and only had a rookie Kyrie Irving who was still adjusting to the NBA.
Lebron left Cleveland to start up a big three to run the east, KD joined the warrior team that already had a big three. That is the difference between the two decisions Lebron wanted a chance to work and get to the finals and be a champion. KD joined a team to just win a final. There was a chance that the Heat’s big three would fail however when KD joined the warriors everyone knew the west was already won before the first tip off.
Cleveland needed Lebron, nobody was going to be able to replace him he had the fairy tale story just a kid from the Cleveland area, worked hard and become arguably the best of all time. Kevin Durant’s story is different OKC did not need him he was just a piece in the large plan KD was not going to make or break the Thunder and that has showed in his first year away. Cleveland loves Lebron even after he left. However, the abbreviation for Oklahoma is “OK” which in this case means Over Kevin.