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.
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.