On Monday night Irving gave fans a masterpiece. 47 points on 22 field goal attempts and the Celtics’ 16th straight win. Last season the Celtics had the best record in the Eastern Conference. This season they have the best record in the NBA.
Irving has been the perfect fit for the Celtics and Al Horford and that, along with the emergence of Jaylen Brown, has made them a legitimate title contender. After losing Gordon Hayward on opening night, this really makes no sense. But Kyrie has done his best to finally give “clutch” an actual definition.
So for now the Celtics clearly won the Kyrie Irving trade. And it’s going to take a lot going right for the Cavaliers for that to change. The Brooklyn Nets are currently the 6th-worst team in the league and are not that far from the basement (even if they don’t have any reason to tank). Isaiah Thomas has returned to practice and he could still turn out to be a great fit with LeBron James. Even if those things work out for Cleveland, the Celtics look so good right now that it could be a push. The true winner of the trade will be determined in the playoffs. But it could all change again if Kyrie stays with the Celtics through his prime.