With reports running wild out of Cleveland about the possibility of a Kyrie trade, Celtics fans need to ask themselves just one question. “Do we have a chance?”
Conflicting reports continue. The C’s and Cavs have stayed in touch about the possibility of a deal between the two clubs involving Kyrie and multiple Celtics assets. If these reports pan out and a trade does happen, then this would be HUGE for the Celtics now, and going forward in the future. Consider some of the reasons why I feel like the trade would make the Celtics a better team in the long run, and my possible trade scenario:
-Via @AdamHimmelsbach / Celtics writer for the Boston Globe
– Via @ByJayKing / Boston Celtics reports for MassLive.com
The Age/Injury Factor:
Although IT4 is not an old man, he has three years on Kyrie who is currently only 25. There is also the lingering concern when it comes to injury, with IT4 who just avoided major hip surgery. Although he doesn’t need surgery (yet), a hip problem is a big red flag for me when it comes to a 5’9 point guard who likes the drive the lane and cause contact against bigger bodies in the paint.
When I hear hip injury for IT, I can only believe this has a high probability to shorten his career. Kyrie has no major injury concerns, besides soreness in his knee this past year. The risk of injury factor leans towards IT more than it does Kyrie.
Kyrie – 1
The Contract Situations
One thing to always consider when it comes to a trade, especially of this magnitude — the contracts involved and the value for each team.
First we have Kyrie who signed a five-year, $94M deal. In 2017-18, Irving will earn a base salary of $18,868,625. This may seem like a high dollar amount, but quite frankly he is UNDERPAID for how good he is and ranks 48th, YES 48TH among player salaries going into next season which is quite low for possibly the second best point guard in the NBA. Kyrie is under control for the next couple of seasons and has already said he would re-sign if traded to the Spurs. Don’t count the C’s out just yet especially since reports broke that he wants to play for Brad Stevens.
Next we have IT who is currently ranked 168th next year in NBA salary rankings. IT4 will be making a little north of $6M next season, clearly low, and he deserves much, much more. But I am not sold on a 5’9 PG with a new hip injury receiving a max contract….NOT FROM THE CELTICS ANYWAY! Contract wise, the favorable choice here for the Celtics would be to trade for Kyrie who you would control for another few years, as opposed to taking a risk and paying IT4 a max-dollar amount.
Via Pro Basketball Reference
Via Pro Basketball Reference
Kyrie vs IT4
Now lets take a look at both players overall and determine who really ranks highest. As ALL of Celtic Nation knows by now, IT4 “Mr. 4th Quarter” has earned his nickname. Big shots late in games pointing to his wrist at an imaginary watch asking, “what time is it?” But we all knew it was HIS time. What Thomas did for this team last season in late games and in BIG games was nothing short of miraculous and heroic. But in playoff games, we needed the same IT4 late in games but we did not get same outcome.
In his career, Isaiah has averaged 19.1 ppg to go along with 5.2 apg , 2.6 trb , and one steal per game. Thomas saw a huge incline last season in ppg where he went from 22 to 28 ppg with NUMEROUS clutch shots to guide the Celtics team to victory. One huge fault of IT4 is his tendency to take some bad shots or too many shots, and he plays ZERO defense….Lets not forget before signing Gordon Hayward, IT4 was the primary scorer on this team.
Kyrie dhas average 21.6 ppg to go along with 5.5 apg , 3.4 trb , and 1.3 steals per game. Kyrie seems to only be getting better every year he plays and this guy is one of, if not the BEST ball handlers. He absolutely COOKS his defenders and makes them looks silly. Although Kyrie is not much of an upgrade over IT4 defensively, he is still the bigger guard and I would take him on defense over IT4 any day of the week. I cannot stress enough to Celtics fans or any NBA fans that Kyrie is overshadowed on Cleveland’s roster by a guy named Lebron James who is a top-three player of ALL-TIME.
While we are discussing the two players and speaking about IT4 being Mr. 4th Quarter lets not forget that Lebron wouldn’t have two rings without two big shots late in Final’s games. One of those big shots came from Ray Allen in the corner when the Heat beat the Spurs. The other shot came from Kyrie himself in game seven vs Golden State to bring a long awaited title to “The Land.” Kyrie seems to always make a HUGE shot when it matters most or takes the ball to the hole on bigger defenders in big games and finish at the rim effortlessly….. That is the kinda guy I want wearing green in big games. So who makes the team better in my opinion? KYRIE ALL DAY, NO QUESTIONS ASKED!
Kyrie – 3
THE TRADE PROPOSAL:
Lakers 2018 1st round draft pick
Why you make the trade
So this one is actually easy for me. If I am Danny Ainge, I pull the trigger on this deal for a few reasons. Take away IT for a second and look at what else you’re giving up. If the Celtics give up Crowder and somehow keep Tatum (who Cleveland is reportedly interested in) then you have depth at the forward position with Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Marcus Morris, Semi Ojeleye, and Gureschon Yabusele. Clearly, there is a log jam at the 3-4 position so losing Jae isn’t that big of a deal. Losing IT4 hurts, but you’re getting a younger and better guard in return. Losing Rozier really doesn’t do much because of the emergence of Marcus Smart as an all around guard and a more than capable backup/6th man off the bench.
This is an easy one for me fellow Celtic fans. If this deal materializes, you pull the trigger and you pull it ASAP! Sorry IT, I love ya bud, but I’m just looking at the best option for the team now and in the future!