A Huge Trade
Last summer, Kevin Durant left the Oklahoma City Thunder for the Golden State Warriors and a star-studded cast so that he could win an NBA championship.
Now Kyrie Irving wants to escape the shadow of the superstar, in this case LeBron James, and he has. The unhappy Cleveland Cavaliers guard was traded Tuesday night to the Boston Celtics, whose playoff shortfalls the last two years may not be repeated as they load their roster.
Irving, a four-time All-Star, had a no-trade clause in his contract, but was willing to waive it and asked for a trade in early July. He heads to the Celtics, who already had added Gordon Hayward and Marcus Morris. The Celtics are sending two-time All-Star guard Isaiah Thomas, small forward Jae Crowder, center Ante Zizic and the Brooklyn Nets’ 2018 first-round pick that is owed to the Cavs.
The Celtics, who were the top seed in the Eastern Conference in last season’s playoffs, were eliminated in the conference finals in five games by the Cavs.
Can you guess which game was already part of the NBA’s 2017-18 opening night doubleheader? Yup. The Celtics and the Cavaliers. Part deux that evening has the Houston Rockets visiting the Golden State Warriors, for their championship banner raising.
Irving got his wish and the Celtics got even better. We might not be making light of the Eastern Conference much longer.
Post By: Larry Weisman, a longtime sportswriter for USA TODAY, blogs for Twistity.com. Follow him on Twitter @MrLarryWeisman