The Cavs are close to sending Kyrie Irving to the Celtics for multiple players and perhaps two draft picks, but one key to remember in all of this: Dan Gilbert, the Cleveland owner, is going to save a lot of money.
Gilbert, who is a billionaire, has been in the luxury tax since LeBron returned. It’s netted him three Finals trips and one title, so it was worth it. But with little hope to beat the Warriors next year, and the team locked into several bad contracts – deals that helped get them the title – Gilbert clearly sees the end is near, and LeBron is on his way out … why do I have to write a huge 8-figure check for the luxury tax?
I know: What is $19 million to a billionaire? Not much.
Let me also find the positive for Cleveland fans: The Cavs get a great defender for Kevin Durant (Jae Crowder). They get a scorer in Isaiah Thomas, who is basically a carbon copy of Kyrie Irving, except he doesn’t have the ego of a #1 pick who is ready to be the man.
I’m not sure the Cavs are beating the Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals, but they probably match up better with the Warriors than they did last year.