The Boston Celtics traded a first round pick in the 2018 NBA Draft with Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and Isaiah Thomas for Kyrie Irving. Despite not owning the pick, it could bring good tidings for Brooklyn.
The Brooklyn Nets 2018 first round pick was a part of a package used to acquire Kyrie Irving Tuesday. Despite popular belief, Celtics GM Danny Ainge had good reason to trade it, and it means good things for Brooklyn.
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However, months later it was a no-brainer inclusion for Kyrie Irving. Why?
Ainge is well-known as never having lost an NBA trade. Why then, is he deemed as the loser of this one?
It’s not that George or Butler are better than Kyrie, it’s a matter of Brooklyn’s progress. Jeremy Lin said the Nets are going to the playoffs, and apparently Ainge took him seriously.
George made his intentions to leave Indiana in free agency next year known, and the Boston Celtics were his top suitor at the trade deadline. Trade talks fell through, though, and the Celtics held on to the Nets’ first rounder.
Towards this year’s NBA Draft, the Chicago Bulls made Butler available and, once again, the Celtics were pursuing a superstar. But they remained unwilling to part with the Brooklyn pick and, once again, trade talks fell apart. The pick remained in Boston.
Now, just two months away from the start of the season, Ainge sent the highly-coveted pick off for Irving. In the light of the Nets’ most recent acquisitions, this dice roll has become less risk and more reward.
Brooklyn pulled off some impressive deals this summer, and have substantially improved their roster from the team that went 20-62 last year.
- In exchange for Brook Lopez and the 27th overall pick, the Lakers sent guard D’Angelo Russell and big man Timofey Mozgov.
- With the 22nd pick of the 2017 NBA Draft, the Nets selected center Jarrett Allen.
- For Justin Hamilton, the Toronto Raptors sent forward DeMarre Carroll.
- Brooklyn sent forward Andrew Nicholson to the Trailblazers in exchange for Allen Crabbe.
Essentially, general manager Sean Marks turned one starter and a late first rounder into three starting-caliber players. With the Eastern Conference continuing to break apart, the Nets will see some more wins this season.
In no way, shape, or form am I saying the Nets pick could escape the lottery. But this isn’t guaranteed to be a top three pick, and both sides were well aware.
All-Star point guard, defensive mongrel on a team friendly contract and a top-three pick for Kyrie Irving? That’s not happening. Even on Irving’s flat earth.
Danny Ainge knew a time would come when the Nets pick would become more of a risk than a guarantee, and that time is now.
In a weakened conference, and in light of recent acquisitions, he’s under the impression Brooklyn will improve. That made it all the easier to ship that pick off in a package for Irving.
For Nets fans this is everything. A chip on the shoulder, a silver lining. Hang on folks, all that waiting is about to p(l)ay-off.