Boston Celtics

Bean: Bless the Cavaliers and Celtics for making this trade

Bean: Bless the Cavaliers and Celtics for making this trade

[Jim Rome about to take credit for a universally accepted thought with which no one disagrees voice] This is why I always say the NBA offseason is the best offseason. I’m Jim Rome. 

You don’t trade with your rivals. The Celtics and Cavaliers just did it and have set up at least one season of madness. This would be like the Canadiens shipping P.K. Subban to Boston instead of Nashville, or the Red Sox trading Mookie Betts to the Yankees. It would never, ever happen. 

Yet because the NBA is absolutely bonkers, a myriad of factors led Cleveland to trade one of the best players in the league to their fellow Eastern Conference finalist: him wanting out, Cleveland needing a star point guard back and Boston having the assets to blow anybody else’s offer out of the water. 

This isn’t the biggest Boston sports trade of my lifetime or most impactful (it’s probably the KG deal on both fronts), but in terms of pure shock given the participants, no other one is close. 

This is the Cavaliers giving the Celtics a franchise player, and it’s the Celtics giving them a potential one back via the Brooklyn pick. It’s also the Celtics solving one of the Cavaliers’ biggest problems (depth). Both teams may have improved, and they’re going to find out against each other. I'm Jim Rome. 

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The Red Sox didn’t care about the Diamondbacks when they fleeced them for Curt Schilling. The Leafs were in the same division, but they were so bad that the B’s didn’t hesitate to give them Phil Kessel. The Patriots were going to take Wes Welker whether the Dolphins traded him to them or not. Drew Bledsoe to the Bills? That might be the closest to this, and Bledsoe was 30.

We’re used to arms races: The Sox getting Schilling when he wanted to go to the Yankees, the Yankees trading for A-Rod when the Sox had tried to get him, the Yankees signing Mark Teixeira so the Sox couldn’t, the Sox signing Carl Crawford so the Yankees couldn’t (whoops), the Jets outbidding the Patriots for Darrelle Revis (lmao), the Heat luring Ray Allen away. 

Yet in this case, the top two teams in the Eastern Conference called each other up and put some of their best assets on the table. It takes brass balls for one GM to be willing to trade with a rival like that. 

For two to be willing? I guess that’s just why the NBA offseason is the best offseason. I’m Jim Rome. 

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Gordon Hayward opens up about disappointment of losing Isaiah Thomas

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Gordon Hayward opens up about disappointment of losing Isaiah Thomas

Gordon Hayward wanted to go to Boston to play with Isaiah Thomas.

Of course, that's not going to happen. The Celtics traded Thomas to the Cleveland Cavaliers in a package for Kyrie Irving. Hayward explained what it was like for him to learn he and Thomas would not get the chance to hit the court together in Celtics' green.

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"My first reaction was to text I.T., and wish him the best," Hayward wrote in a blog post which he published Thursday. "That was a really strange moment because I’d really been looking forward to playing with him. He didn’t just help recruit me to Boston—he was a big piece of that recruitment. He had talked a lot about city and how it was different to be a Celtic. He talked about the intensity of playing in the Eastern Conference Finals, playing at the Garden in the playoffs, and how much fun it was, and how much fun he had playing in Boston.

"All of that ultimately helped win me over. And by the time of the trade, I had already started to build a little bit of a relationship with him.

"But that is just how the business works. I have spent enough years in the NBA to realize that things can change like that, in an instant. Still, even though we didn’t necessarily get to be teammates, I’m definitely going to be watching him as a fan. In this league, I think we are all rooting for each other in some way or another—just to try to stay healthy, to try to be the best we can be."

Hayward may be genuine about rooting for Thomas -- except perhaps when he faces off against the Cavaliers in the season-opener on Oct. 17 at Quicken Loans Arena. Thomas is uncertain to play due to a hip injury. But the two teams are expected to see each other in the Eastern Conference Finals again after the 2017-18 season. This preview will be an opportunity for Thomas and Irving to get their first shot at revenge against their previous team.

The trade wasn't all bad for Hayward, he explained. He was pleased at the prospect of playing with Irving. Hayward cited Irving's abilities in 1-on-1 situations and clutch moments. He appreciated Irving's scoring ability, because Hayward knows the point guard will open up space for Hayward to knock down open shots. Above all, Hayward seemed to value Irving's unique experience.

"And then getting a chance to play with LeBron James, and going to the Finals three straight years—those are experiences that are invaluable and that you really can’t teach," Hayward wrote. "Having that experience of playing in those big moments, dealing with the circus of the media, dealing with expectations, those are all things that I think he can help us with. Because most of us, myself especially, have never been through that."

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