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Kyrie Irving, newest member of the Boston Celtics, is reportedly "thrilled" to be joining the team.


Understandably so, given the sinking ship that is the Cleveland Cavaliers - with the team poised to pay a record luxury tax with little hope of improving on last year's results, which saw the Cavs fall to the Golden State Warriors in five games. Waiting on LeBron James' decision wasn't Irving's idea of a good plan, and when owner Dan Gilbert canned his general manager in the midst of negotiating one of the only likely deals (for Jimmy Butler) that could have reasonably improved the team's odds for another ring (and payroll), the writing was on the wall.

The Celtics, fresh off their first return to the Eastern Conference Finals since the demise of the Banner 17-era squad, have since traded away much of the core that got them there, gaining a Gordon Hayward (and Marcus Morris, for what it's worth) and leaving many unsure about the soundness of such a move.



Perhaps even more central to the precocious growth of this iteration - if we are even in it anymore - has been the found money that was the Isaiah Thomas era in Boston, stolen away from the Phoenix Suns for a song, now traded with Jae Crowder and promising prospect Ante Zizic for Irving, along with the last direct remnant of the haul got for the Banner 17 crew, the 2018 Brooklyn Nets first-round pick.

Sure, most of us are keen to the fact the Nets are likely to improve enough to deliver a less-than-ideal selection, and that Thomas' injury - sustained gutting out the victories that helped raise this team to renewed prominence - could potentially put Boston in a position of gambling on the health of IT's game, predicated on speed (and that hip) for a pretty penny without the full time needed to properly assess that injury.


On paper, the deal makes sense. Internally, in that soft spot I have for guys like Thomas (and let's not forget about Jae, either - he bled green from the moment he suited up, MAYBE A LITTLE TOO MUCH AT TIMES), this deal is hard to wrap my head around. In retrospect, it may indeed prove the right one, but if we have learned anything this offseason, Danny Ainge is one ice-cold customer when it comes to deals.

Could he have crossed a line here? I try to keep analysis mostly free of green-tinted lenses, but we've been through a lot with so many guys now on other teams, and Thomas being traded has me seriously questioning my own objectivity - and Ainge's internal barometer - even if I see the logic of it from an unemotional place. Right now, I'm feeling very conflicted about all of this - what are your thoughts on the deal? Are the Celtics closer now than they were yesterday to Banner 18?

One way or another, we'll get our first look in about eight weeks.

For more stories about the offseason on CelticsLife, click here. For more by Justin, click here.



Image: CSNNE
Video: ESPN
Follow Justin at @justinquinnn

Justin Quinn 8/22/2017 11:38:00 PM Edit
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