The Cleveland Cavaliers have traded All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving to the Boston Celtics, according to Jeff Goodman of ESPN, in a blockbuster deal that will shake up the NBA’s Eastern Conference.
In exchange for Irving, the Cavs will receive fellow All-Star point guard Isaiah Thomas, forward Jae Crowder, rookie center Ante Zizic, and a first-round draft pick.
The draft pick is the 2018 first-rounder from the Brooklyn Nets, which will almost certainly fall into the top five.
The Celtics confirmed the trade on Twitter.
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) August 23, 2017
The move is a shake up of the best teams in the Eastern Conference, and makes for an exceptionally compelling potential Conference Finals rematch in 2018.
Irving reportedly had been unhappy with his recent time with the Cavaliers and asked the team for a trade in July, having grown resentful of playing second fiddle to LeBron James. Later reports would come out that Irving shut himself off from teammates for days during their 2017 playoff run.
The deal drastically changes the dynamics of both teams. The Celtics have indicated to the rest of the league that they are ready to go all in and win now and gain a proven playoff veteran for to their cause. Meanwhile, the Cavs received a new set of assets they could potentially depend on in a post-LeBron era if he were to leave as a free agent after the season. It also gives Irving a talented team that he could lead, making good on his reported desire to be the top guy on a roster.
In a stroke of luck for the NBA and TNT, the Celtics and Cavaliers meet in Cleveland on October 17 on TNT in the first game of the 2017-18 NBA season.