Kyrie Irving Traded for Isaiah Thomas

I don’t even know where to start, Kyrie Irving has just been traded for Isaiah Thomas. And to be honest, I can’t make up my mind on whether this is a good trade or bad trade for the Celtics and Cavaliers. I am going to be explaining both my ideas on why this is a good and bad trade for the Celtics, and why this is a good and bad trade for the Cavs. Let’s start with the Celtics.

 

Good – Celtics

So why is this trade good for the Celtics? Well I mean come on, when you get Kyrie Irving, your team takes a step up. I do think Isaiah Thomas is a little overrated meaning that Kyrie Irving is defiantly a benefit. I want to look first at the individual statistics.

Isaiah Thomas averages 28.9 points a game, and also 5.9 assists per game. Kyrie Irviing averages 25.2 points and 5.8 assists. Now these numbers look great for Isaiah Thomas, however let’s look at the CARMELO NBA Player Projections page. If you would like to visit this website, then click here.

Isaiah Thomas is only ranked as a good starter, while Kyrie Irving is ranked as a borderline all star. Both of these ratings are surprising, however you really have to look at comparing the 2 players to see why Isaiah Thomas is only a good starter.

Also just to note, others players that are good starters include Eric Bledsoe, Gorgui Dieng, and Robert Covington. Players that are borderline all stars are Paul George, Gordon Hayward, and Blake Griffin.

But let’s get back to comparing the 2 players, and showing why the Celtics will like Kyrie Irving more then Isaiah Thomas. Isaiah Thomas is terrible and defense, as he is only 5’9. Kyrie Irving is better at defense, being 6’3. When someone needs to lock down a 6’3 Stephen Curry, I would rather have a player with the same height then a player that is 6 inches shorter. Isaiah Thomas has a 0.4% in blocks, a 1.5% in steals and a defensive +/- of -3.1. Now Kyrie Irving has a 0.8% in blocks, a 1.7% in steals, and a -2.2 +/- on the defensive side of the court. Those stats show that Kyrie Irving is a much better defensive player, especially when you see statistically Isaiah Thomas is one of the worst defensive players in the NBA, in fact about in the 5th percentile of the NBA.

So that is the reason why this trade is good for the Celtics. But let’s get into why the trade is not good for the Celtics.

Bad – Celtics

I really want to look at the Celtics rotation in this explanation. If you look at my blog post 2 days ago, I tell you the depth chart for the Celtics next season. Jae Crowder is indeed the starting small forward, as Gordon Hayward plays the shooting guard position. Now, here is what the starting five looks like before and after the trade.

Before:

PG: Isaiah Thomas
SG: Gordon Hayward
SF: Jae Crowder
PF: Marcus Morris
C: Al Horford

After:

PG: Kyrie Irving
SG: Jaylen Brown
SF: Gordon Hayward
PF: Marcus Morris
C: Al Horford

Now I am not sure next season if Jaylen Brown or Gordon Hayward will play the shooting guard position. What I do know though is that either way Jaylen Brown will be starting. So this trade tells me that the Celtics want to start a second year player in the playoffs. And this player last year only averaged 6.6 points and 2.8 rebounds. Jae Crowder was such an important piece to the Celtics. Losing him means that Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum will be playing more minutes. You have 2 seasons with Kyrie Irving before he potentially leaves. That means you have to go for a winning team. I don’t know how that is possible when they come against great shooting guard’s and small forward’s, including the likes of Lebron James, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant, and yes next season Jae Crowder. It doesn’t make sense why the Celtics would want to give up a player that really was as important piece to the team’s success. So was this trade good, or was it bad? Let’s go over to the Cavs side of the trade.

Good – Cavaliers

The Cavaliers depth next year will be insane. Remember, in free agency the Cavaliers went and got Derrick Rose. Jae Crowder is a nice perimeter defender and can help defend against the great wing players on the Warriors. Let’s do what we did with the Celtics, look at the before and 2 options for the after of this trade. We with also look at the bench, because that is what really made this trade good for the Cavs.

Before:

PG: Kyrie Irving
SG: Kyle Korver
SF: Lebron James
PF: Kevin Love
C: Tristian Thompson

6th: J.R. Smith

7th: Richard Jefferson

8th: Channing Frye

9th: Deron Williams

10th: Iman Shumpert

 

1st Option After:

PG: Isaiah Thomas
SG: Jae Crowder
SF: Lebron James
PF: Kevin Love
C: Tristian Thompson

6th: Derrick Rose

7th: Kyle Korver

8th: J.R. Smith

9th: Channing Frye

10th: Iman Shumpert

 

2nd Option After:

PG: Isaiah Thomas
SG: Derrick Rose
SF: Jae Crowder
PF: Lebron James
C: Kevin Love

6th: Tristian Thompson

7th: Kyle Korver

8th: J.R. Smith

9th: Channing Frye

10th: Iman Shumpert

 

Now this lineup looks unbelievable on paper. The 1st option of the after is if they had Thompson starting. In the 2nd option, because he had a bad Finals he moves to the bench, while Rose takes over the spot and the team plays small ball. The 1st option is probably what they will play, however the second option is what I think they should end up playing. The Warriors are a team that plays 2 stars at a time. They always make sure that they have 2 stars on the court at the same time. If the Cavs have a lot of depth, that means that Lebron can rest more, and if someone is playing well they have many options to bring in. On paper this team looks incredible.

 

Bad – Cavaliers

The Cavaliers know that Lebron James will probably leave the Cavalier next year. Therefore they should go for young talent, right? Instead, they went and got a 28 year old, a 27 year old, a 20 year old rookie with not a lot of potential and to be honest, a pick with not a lot of value. Yes, I believe the Nets pick may not even fall with in the top 10. I think the pick may be between the 8-12 position in the draft. Is that worth giving up Kyrie? A very young player with the potential to be an MVP. But the future isn’t even the worst part. The worst part is Isaiah Thomas.

Now Isaiah Thomas is an all-star, however can not defend against taller opponents(No one in the NBA is smaller then Isaiah Thomas.) There is no way that when Cleveland plays Boston in the Eastern Conference Finals, Isaiah Thomas holds Kyrie to under 20. I believe that Kyrie will go for 50 point games. And then if the Cavs go to the Finals, how are the supposed to beat the Warriors? Stephen Curry will probably make 15 3-pointers in one game. And you may say, just put Jae Crowder in. If that is a thing, then Stephen Curry will break Crowder’s ankles I don’t know how many times. And Derrick Rose is a washed up MVP who is getting older by the second. I don’t know how Derrick Rose will be able to defend Stephen Curry.

I’m not done. I still need to talk about the backup PG, Shaun Livingston. How is 5’9 Isaiah Thomas supposed to guard 6’7 Shaun Livingston. Yes, that is that much of an advantage. In my mind, this trade was really to get Crowder. He is an excellent piece to the Cavs however as much as I like Isaiah Thomas, he just can not play defense. If Isaiah Thomas was 6’5, he may be able to play the defensive end of the court. Now if he was 6’5 he may not be even be in the NBA because he shaped is game around being small, however that is a whole other topic to talk about. The fact is, he is not able to defend any point guard on the Warriors, and that is really the reason why I think this trade has bad parts for the Cavs.

 

A pretty long post for today but a needed post. This trade will change the NBA for not just next season but for seasons after that. I will make sure to watch the Celtics v Cavaliers Opening Night Game on the date of October 17th to inform you on how the players played and maybe after that I may pick a side to the trade.

 

Quick note, I understand that my past post was irrelevant. I will be coming out with a new 2017-18 Boson Celtics preview so make sure to stay updated on that. Let me know if you think this trade is good or bad for both teams in the comments. I just don’t know which way to lean. Thanks for reading today’s post and have an amazing day.

 

 

 

 

Pictures:

Cavaliers Logo

Celtics Logo

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