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One week after the Cleveland Cavaliers and Boston Celtics seemingly completed a blockbuster trade in which they swapped All-Star point guards Kyrie Irving and Isaiah Thomas, the trade is still hanging in limbo and now the Cavs reportedly want at least one more first-round draft pick included.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski, the Cavs are “determined” to get another first-round pick from the Celtics as compensation for Thomas’ injured hip.
“The Cavs are no longer seeking one of the Celtics’ top young players,” Wojnarowski wrote. “But they are still determined to land one of Boston’s first-round picks as compensation, and the conversation has included second-round considerations, too, league sources said.”
Wojnarowski previously reported that the Cavs were going to initially ask for Jaylen Brown or Jayson Tatum, the third picks in the 2016 and 2017 NBA Drafts, respectively. However, that may have just been posturing as Wojnarowski did say that was “very unlikely” to happen and suggested the Cavs were just angling for one of the Celtics many first-round draft picks.
In addition to the Celtics’ own first-round picks, they also have one coming from the Philadelphia 76ers in either 2018 or 2019 (as part of the trade for the 2017 No. 1 pick), another one coming from the Memphis Grizzlies in 2019, 2020, of 2021, and a potential first-rounder from the Los Angeles Clippers in 2019, 2020, or 2021.
The two teams are facing a 10 a.m. Thursday deadline to complete the deal.
The Cavaliers are seeking extra compensation in the trade because they felt the Celtics undersold the significance of Thomas’ hip injury and the amount of the upcoming season he would miss. In addition to Thomas, the Cavs also agreed to take forward Jae Crowder, rookie center Ante Zizic, and the Brooklyn Nets’ first-round draft pick in 2018 in the original deal.
Thomas initially injured his hip in March during the regular season and missed two games. He re-injured the hip during the Eastern Conference semifinals and eventually missed the final three games of the Eastern Conference finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
After the trade, Celtics general manager Danny Ainge confirmed that the hip was still an issue for Thomas and that he would likely miss the start of the season, but that he “should be fine” at some point during the season. Thomas and the Celtics opted against surgery on the hip.
Thomas was emphatic during an interview with ESPN on Tuesday that he would be fine.
“I’m going to be back, and I’m going to be the same player again,” Thomas told ESPN. “No doctor has told me anything different than that.”