Tha Sports Junkies 101

Where The Cavs’ and Celtics’ New Pieces Fit on Their Rosters After Blockbuster Trade

NBA Cavs-Celtics Trade Luis Espinosa/ via


After days of dramatics and suspense, the Cleveland Cavaliers and Boston Celtics finally completed the biggest blockbuster trade of the summer. Despite concerns over Isaiah Thomas’ lingering hip injury, the Cavs needed only one more second round draft pick to convince them to go through with the deal. Let’s take a look at every player exchanged in the trade, and where they fit on their new teams.

Kyrie Irving (Spent first six seasons with Cavs)

Kyrie’s new role with Boston is one of the easiest to place. After trading star point guard Isaiah Thomas, the Celtics will expect Irving to step into the go-to play maker role that Thomas occupied last season. The addition of Gordon Hayward will give Irving plenty of help as well. As long as Kyrie doesn’t slip into a Robin-to-Hayward’s-Batman role, he should thrive in Boston’s offense. The addition of Hayward before the trade made Boston a curious destination for Irving. Hopefully, Kyrie will be able to share the spotlight with the Celtics’ other new star, or it could make for a rocky year.

Isaiah Thomas (Six years with multiple teams)

Isaiah can play a role similar to Irving’s last year. Both players were quick and agile with above-average handles. Both have perfected the drive-and-kick technique, and both can shoot, although Thomas not as well as Irving. I don’t expect IT to miss a beat in Cleveland’s offense, and although he likely would have preferred to remain in Boston, he should enjoy his time in “The Land.”

Obviously, Thomas will play second fiddle to LeBron James. I don’t see him playing third fiddle to Kevin Love though, and he should be the Cavs second option after James. Thomas’ unique ability to pass and score efficiently (28.9 ppg and 5.9 apg last season) should help him lead Cleveland back to the playoffs this season.

Jae Crowder (Three years with both Dallas and Boston)

While losing Isaiah Thomas was surely hard for Celtics fans, losing Crowder might have been just as painful. Crowder has a well-deserved reputation as a strong defender. He is also known for his decent range and the ability to get hot from time to time. He’s the ultimate role player. The addition of Crowder to their bench should improve Cleveland’s second unit immensely. He should be the first option off the bench for Cleveland at small or power forward.

Taking a second to look at the Cavs’ second unit for next season, it has scary potential. Former NBA MVP Derrick Rose at point guard, defensive specialist Iman Shumpert at shooting guard, arguably the greatest shooting role player in NBA history Kyle Korver at small forward, Crowder at power forward, and either Edy Tavares or newly acquired Ante Zizic at center. Look out NBA.

Ante Zizic (One season in Turkey after being drafted by Boston in 2016)

I’m not sure if Ante Zizic will play for Cleveland this year. After playing for Darüşşafaka Doğuş of the Turkish Basketball Super League last season, there has been no word yet on whether he will join his new team for the upcoming season. Should Zizic join the Cavs this season, he will battle it out with 25-year old Edy Tavares for the backup center spot behind Tristan Thompson. Zizic was described as thunderous dunker with a “mean streak” by coach David Blatt.

The Cavs also received a 2018 first round pick and a 2020 second round pick. Adrien Wojnarowski of ESPN reported that the Celtics wouldn’t budge anymore after throwing in the 2020 pick. Isaiah Thomas’ original failed physical was the cause of much drama and confusion during the week after the agreement. The trade was completed eight days after it was originally agreed to.

Who do you think won this trade? Leave a comment down below.

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