By Matthew Cunha
Let’s get this straight, now that the deal for Kyrie Irving have gone through, the Celtics did the right thing. If Isaiah’s hip is healthy, he was gonna walk at the end of the season unless Danny Ainge personally backed that Brinks truck into his driveway. Jae Crowder would whine about Gordon Hayward all season, and the Brooklyn pick could land who knows where, as there is buzz that Brooklyn can’t possibly be an inept as last season. Plus the trade allows Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum to develop and actually play like all 3rd overall picks should. The trade is a win for the C’s.
Yet, I want to play the role of devil’s advocate. The arguments as to why the trade doesn’t make sense for the Celtics have been gained some steam throughout the Boston media.
Couldn’t have the same package landed you Jimmy Butler – I would consider Butler a smidgen better than Irving due to his defensive ability. Butler seem like more of the franchise changing player. Butler was shipped out of Chicago for Zach Lavine, Kris Dunn, and the #7 overall pick. The Celtics offer that landed Kyrie is well ahead of the Bulls offer, even if you kept Isaiah and traded away Avery in that deal. If any Celtic fans are angry that could have Butler, I can understand why it would be upsetting.
Kyrie is just a shooting guard on a championship team and doesn’t get you any closer to beating the Warriors –
This statement is true. Kyrie is never going to be the best player on a championship team. Now, they have limited assets to go out there and get their #1 (Anthony Davis). Kyrie might get you past the Cavs but he will never get you past the current Warriors. The search for the most elusive player is still on for the Celtics.
Wouldn’t you have been the best team in the East anyways once LeBron leaves – Yes if Lebron leaves Cleveland after this season, this is true. If LeBron leaves Cleveland, the Celtics would have been the best team in the East without Kyrie (presuming Isaiah is healthy). The Brooklyn pick could have been stashed and used to get a #1 either by using it or via trade, yet the C’s would have still been favorites in the East in a LeBron-less East.
The Emotional factor – Let’s be honest, Isaiah is one heck of a guy. He played through the death of his sister, put the Celtics back on the map, and was a joy to watch. Meanwhile Kyrie thinks the world is flat. If you want to use this as reasoning for not being in favor of the trade, I buy it.
The deal advances and stabilizes the future of the Celtics, if Kyrie will be here long term. If Tatum and Brown can develop, you could be staring at a potential NBA championship winning threesome along with Gordon Hayward. However, if Brown and Tatum don’t develop and Kyrie folds, the reasons previously mentioned will be brought up. The deal was a bold move and huge risk by Danny Ainge. Only the future will tell if it was the right thing to do.
Matthew Cunha is a producer on The Drive, weekdays 4pm to 6pm on 92.9fm The Ticket and streaming live at DriveShowMaine.com. Follow us on Twitter, @DriveShowMaine and “Like Us” on Facebook, Drive Show Maine.