Cleveland’s haul for one of the best point guards in the NBA, Kyrie Irving, was very impressive. If you’ve been following this site closely, you know I like the Isaiah Thomas angle. You rent him for a year. Like what you see? Work out a deal. Don’t? Bye.
Jae Crowder is the most underrated aspect of the trade. He’s one of the top wing defenders in the NBA. And he shot 39 percent on 3-pointers. Expect that to improve with LeBron attracting defenses.
Getting the Brooklyn pick is an absolute coup for rookie GM Koby Altman. Did Boston really have to part with it? Two lines of thought: 1) They have so much young talent in Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum, plus two Top 20 NBA players who aren’t even 28 yet (Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving), that getting a killer in Kyrie mattered more to win a title in the next year or two; 2) they still have two picks in 2018, their own plus that of the Lakers or Kings.
[Aside: You can forget the Anthony Davis pipe dream.]
So let’s assume the Cavs win the East (they’ll have the experience edge on the Celtics, but not much else), get to the Finals, and take a game or two from the Super Warriors.
Actually, wait: What if Cleveland isn’t done making moves? What if they can add Dwyane Wade before Christmas after the Bulls buy him out? Adding Wade to this would mean over half the roster is past their prime, but it’ll also mean they’ll all be fresh come May and June thanks to depth:
PG: Isaiah Thomas/Derrick Rose
SG: JR Smith/Iman Shumpert
SF: LeBron/Jae Crowder/Kyle Korver/Richard Jefferson
PF: Kevin Love/Jeff Green
C: Tristan Thompson/Channing Frye
Suddenly, is Cleveland … kind of attractive for LeBron? They’ll have salary cap issues since Isaiah Thomas will want a lot of money, but Cleveland certainly looks more attractive than it did on Monday.