Celtics and Cavaliers complete Kyrie Irving-Isaiah Thomas trade
After several days of uncertainty, the Celtics and Cavaliers on Wednesday night completed the trade that brought All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving to Boston, a league source confirmed.
In return, Cleveland will get All-Star guard Isaiah Thomas, forward Jae Crowder, forward Ante Zizic, a 2018 first-round pick from the Brooklyn Nets, and a 2020 second-round pick the Celtics acquired from Miami.
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The trade was in question after Thomas underwent a physical in Cleveland last Friday. The Cavaliers had concerns about Thomas’s injured hip and reportedly were seeking more compensation, such as one of the Celtics’ younger players or another high draft pick.
Once a trade is announced in the NBA offseason, players have seven days to complete physical exams with their new teams. After that seven-day window is closed, teams then have 24 hours to consider the medical results. The Irving/Thomas trade was initiated last Tuesday, so the sides had until Wednesday to finalize it.
Thomas suffered a torn labrum during the Celtics’ Eastern Conference finals series against the Cavaliers in May and has yet to be cleared for full-court basketball activities. He decided not to have surgery this summer.
After the trade was announced last week, Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said Thomas probably would face “a little bit of a delay” at the start of the regular season, and acknowledged that the injury had played some role in the decision to make the deal.
The Cavaliers certainly were aware of Thomas’s injury prior to the deal.
“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,” Thomas told ESPN Tuesday.
“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.”
Thomas is scheduled to become a free agent at season’s end, and he is coming off an injury, so the Nets pick was considered by most to be the most valuable piece of the trade.