The Cleveland Cavaliers and Boston Celtics made headlines around the sports world when a trade was announced out of nowhere that sent Kyrie Irving to Boston in exchange for Isaiah Thomas, a highly touted first round pick, Jae Crowded and Ante Zizic. The reaction from the media world was instant: Cleveland handily won a trade that could retool their team while rebuilding for the future in the event that LeBron James ended up walking after 2017 – 2018. However, as quickly as this trade came to fruition what happened next was equally stunning: Cleveland might be going back on the deal. Cleveland finally got a chance to take a close look at Isaiah Thomas’ own injured hip and the results were not good.
Last season Isaiah Thomas had to end his playoff run early after injuring his hip. The reports were that Thomas would rehab and be good to go for the 2017 season but as he is nearing 30 years old, and already tiny for the NBA, his body has been beaten more than most people want to comprehend. Cleveland’s closer look at Thomas’ injured hip prompted them to immediately contact Boston in order to request additional compensation. Boston’s first response was to scoff but with a few days to sit and think we can’t imagine that the Celtics will hesitate to throw in more.
Essentially, Cleveland has put Boston in an incredibly tough decision. Thomas played an important role in recruiting Gordon Hayward to the Celtics. Thomas has also been the heart and soul of the Celtics. Now that Boston has conceded their willingness to trade their star player for the first star available it has to make them uncomfortable to think about bringing Thomas back for another season. There is a serious lack of trust between the Celtics FO and Isaiah Thomas right now. So what does this mean? It means that Boston is going to pony up additional assets, the question is: what are they going to surrender?
Right now talks are that Cleveland is focused on getting another top tier draft pick in order to make up for Thomas’ injury. LeBron James and the Cavs are in win-now mode but the franchise must be ready to start building for the future. Getting a pair of top lotto picks in the next two drafts would be a legendary pick up for a franchise that will finally have comfort in all directions.