As expected, the trade between the Boston Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers that at its core was about a point guard switch between Kyrie Irving and Isaiah Thomas resulted in plenty of memes.
Who won the trade? Probably the Cavaliers, at least when you look at the impact it’ll have this season. They replaced an All-Star with someone who is just as good on offense, while adding a defensive forward in Jae Crowder (something they sorely missed last season), a talented young big man in Ante Zizic and perhaps most importantly, a first round draft pick from Boston via Brooklyn. The pick is unprotected, which means a bad season from the Nets gets the Cavaliers a very high pick.
The Cavaliers haven’t been in a future kind of mindset in recent years, but the Irving trade might be another sign that things are coming to an end. LeBron James is likely to leave the team in the summer of 2018, Thomas will be a free agent too, and Dan Gilbert seems to be tired of paying such a huge luxury tax. He won a championship and doesn’t think the team can win another, but breaking it completely apart this season wasn’t plausible. Now, if everything does fall apart in the summer, the team is better set up towards a more successful rebuild.
For the Celtics, it seems like it keeps them in 2nd place of the Eastern conference for another year. Their defense got weaker while their offense, along with Gordon Hayward joining the team, is probably better. The Celtics seem to be in a good place to take over the East in 2018-2019. However, unless LeBron James finally starts decaying, this season might be the Cavs’ yet again, at least in the East.