The Boston Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers are working on a deal that would be the blockbuster of the summer.
Despite requesting a trade roughly a month ago, point guard Kyrie Irving remains with the Cleveland Cavaliers. But the Cavs may finally be closing in on granting the All-Star point guard’s wishes.
Cleveland and Boston engaged in active trade discussions centered on Kyrie Irving and Isaiah Thomas, league sources tell The Vertical.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) August 22, 2017
Sources: Boston, Cleveland nearing deal on Kyrie Irving, but details still working to completion. Isaiah Thomas, Crowder, pick(s) in talks.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) August 22, 2017
If and when the deal goes through, the Cavs would have their imminent replacement for Irving with Thomas. The catch with Thomas—and a big reason for Boston’s apparent willingness to trade him—is that he’s an unrestricted free agent next summer. That essentially makes him a one-year rental.
In order to match salaries, Boston would also have to surrender Crowder and potentially another player. By adding Crowder, the Cavs would potentially be getting their short-term replacement for LeBron James, should he opt to leave Cleveland next summer.
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On the other hand, the Celtics would be getting their point guard for the foreseeable future in Irving. Under contract for two more years, Irving would extend Boston’s window of contention. Joining forces with Al Horford and free agent signee Gordon Hayward, Irving would give Boston an elite trio in its starting five.
These talks come after the Cavs defeated the Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals.
Last season, Thomas averaged a career-high 28.9 points while shooting 46.3% from the floor, dishing out 5.9 assists per game. Irving, meanwhile, also averaged a career-high in points per game (25.2) but was a bit more accurate with his shot (47.3%), delivering 5.8 dimes per contest.