The Kyrie Irving-Isaiah Thomas mega-deal is now official after both teams confirmed an agreement last night.
After Cleveland raised questions about Isaiah Thomas’ hip over the weekend, the trade was reportedly in jeopardy, but it seemed impossible for the Celtics and Cavs to go back on such a massive deal.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the most plugged-in dude in sports media, reported that the trade talks had “become a game of chicken” with neither team actually ready to walk away from the negotiations.
The Cavs claimed that they had been misled about the severity of Thomas’ injury, Woj wrote,
“Cleveland maintained that Boston wasn’t fully transparent about the possible length of rehabilitation facing Thomas, who suffered the hip injury in March and was shut down in the Eastern Conference finals. Thomas has been rehabilitating his injury, and he told ESPN on Tuesday that he expected to play this season and believed he would return to an elite level. The Celtics believe they were fully forthcoming in detailing Thomas’ injury, sources said.”
Seems like a pretty standard way of getting the Celtics to sweeten up the deal a little bit. Ultimately a 2020 second-round pick was the final piece that saw the trade go through.
There was a brief moment of panic over the weekend when suddenly it appeared like this trade may not happen, and ESPN’s Zach Lowe reported that Milwaukee was prepared to offer a package centered around Malcolm Brogdon and Khris Middleton, but I guess Cleveland just wanted another second-round pick…
As for Thomas, he told ESPN on Tuesday that he’s fine and his career will not be changed by this injury,
“There’s never been an indication that I wouldn’t be back, and there’s never been an indication that this is something messing up my career. Maybe I am not going to be back as soon this season as everyone wants me to be, but I’m going to be back, and I’m going to be the same player again. No doctor has told me anything different than that.”
Word. Well, even as a Celtics fan I hope IT gets back to his healthy best, just not against the C’s.
With this trade official, we can finally put this saga behind us and get back to debating who won this trade.