[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.
MORE ON THE KYRIE IRVING BLOCKBUSTER:
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- Cedric Maxwell: I love Isaiah, but Irving is better player
- Draper: Kyrie Irving has not even hit his prime yet
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.